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Himachal Pradesh Elections 2022: The Congress has been facing poll debacles in several other states including Punjab, Goa, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, so what led to the Congress' victory in Himachal Pradesh? Let's take a look at all the factors.
The Congress has secured a clear win in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022. The Grand Old Party bagged 40 seats, defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which emerged victorious in 25 seats. Though the Congress won the Himachal polls, there was minimal difference between the vote share of both parties.
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While Himachal broke Congress's dry spell in elections, Gujarat came as another shocker. The party garnered less than 20 seats in the Gujarat Assembly Elections, the voting of which took place in two phases.
Congress has been facing poll debacles in several other states, including Punjab, Goa, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, so what led to the Congress' victory in Himachal Pradesh? Let's take a look at all the factors:
1. Congress wooing women voters in Himachal, addressing the youth and unemployment
Women make up 49.5 percent of the total voters in Himachal Pradesh. Moreover, the votes polled by women in the state exceeded that of men by 4.4 percentage points, News 18 quoted constituency-wise data procured from the election department.
Keeping this tally in view, it seems that the Congress was on point when targeting its audience, i.e women voters. In its manifesto, the party had guaranteed monthly compensation of Rs 1,500 to Himachal's women aged between 18 and 60 years. Its poll pitch in Himachal focused on women's empowerment.
2. BJP rebels
Most of the Independent candidates contesting Himachal Pradesh polls were primarily BJP rebels. At least two of them have won and others have dented the party’s vote in crucial constituencies. The two independent candidates who won included Hoshyar Singh from Dehra and KL Thakur from Nalagarh.
3. Addressing inflation
The Congress had been targeting the BJP over inflation, which seems to have impressed the women voters.
4. Old pension scheme
The Congress has been pitching for the revival of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), keeping in view that several Himachal families have members in government service.
5. 'unemployment among youth'
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi said while addressing a rally in Himachal Pradesh: "If the Congress comes into power in Himachal, the government would provide 1 lakh jobs after a discussion at the first cabinet meeting." Not just this, she went on to assure a total of 5 lakh jobs to the youth in the state. This has probably struck a chord with the people of the swing state
The Congress win proved anti-incumbency in the state - ousting the BJP from power. According to reports, many believed that Jairam Thakur "lacked administrative skills" which might have affected BJP's performance in the state.