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What Worked For Sukhu vs Pratibha, Mukesh

Sukhvinder Sukhu is known for his aggressive form of politics, a style he carries from his college days. (File)

Shimla/New Delhi:
After nearly four decades of allegiance to the Congress, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has been elected as Chief Minister of Himachal, though rivals will be given key positions for balance.

Here are 10 factors behind Sukhvinder Sukhu’s rise to the top spot:

  1. Numbers first: Of the 40 Congressional MLAs in the House of 68, Sukhvinder Sukhu has more than half the support. Even in his home district of Hamirpur – also the home district of BJP minister Anurag Thakur and his father, veteran Prem Kumar Dhumal – the congress won four out of five seats, while the fifth also went to a congress leader turned rebel.

  2. Self-created image: His rivals Pratibha Singh and Mukesh Agnihotri entered politics under the shadow of the late “Raja” Virbhadra Singh – she as a wife, he as a journalist-cum-protégé. They had to compete against a self-constructed statue of Mr. Sukhu, a former student leader who once sold milk and whose father was a bus driver. The rivals have a thing for balance – Mukesh Agnihotri becomes Deputy Prime Minister; Pratibha is currently head of the state unit and her son Vikramaditya may also be given a higher position.

  3. No stranger to Shimla: The Hamirpur district of Sukhvinder Sukhu is a very different region from the capital Shimla and the higher hills, where the Virbhadra Singh clan draws strength from the erstwhile kingship. But Mr Sukhu is no stranger to Shimla, where he ran student politics and later won municipal polls before graduating in state-level politics and moving to his home district of Hamirpur.

  4. Rise through the ranks: For four decades he has worked at almost all levels of the party in Himachal. From the National Student Union of India (NSUI) to the youth congress to the head of state unit. He claimed the top seat and made no secret of his rivalry with Virbhadra Singh, who died last year. This style made him stand out in a sea of ​​leaders who, without a beep, played second fiddle to the “Raja” of Rampur-Bushahr.

  5. aggressive brand: The word ‘firebrand’ is often used to describe Sukhvinder Sukhu, who has owned it since his days in the hotly contested Himachal Pradesh University elections. A lawyer by training, he has made no shocking statements since victory, except for a hint last night when asked about Pratibha Singh’s supporters chanting slogans: “Slogans don’t make anyone prime minister.”

  6. Team Rahul: Sukhvinder Sukhu is one of the first members of Team Rahul. He is also young by political standards; at age 58, about a decade younger than Pratibha Singh, 66. Electing a laborer to become leader rather than royal heirs fits well with the congress’s revived message about working at the grassroots – a key theme of Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.

  7. Plus Priyanka: Priyanka Gandhi’s 10 rallies – when Rahul Gandhi chose to stick to his Yatra – are given great credit. Pratibha Singh did not help her chances when she recently contrasted the younger Gandhis working style with that of older members of the first family of the Congress.

  8. Cabinet balance: Thakur/Rajputs as a community – the largest in number with one third of the population – have played a dominant role in the politics of the Himachal Congress with Virbhadra Singh’s family at its centre. Caste math will not be very shocked by giving the highest post to Mr. Sukhu from the same community. Balance is achieved by giving Mukesh Agnihotri a post as Brahmins are also politically dominant, though third in number behind the Thakurs and the historically disadvantaged Dalits.

  9. Regional affairs: Mr. Sukhu’s home region, Hamirpur, is part of the lower-mid Himalayas and the greater Kangra region. Virbhadra Singh – the state congress by extension – was often accused of favoring Shimla and the higher hills where Pratibha Singh is called “Rani” long after the abolition of princely states. Giving Mr Sukhu the chairman will give the party greater regional reach, which this time has gained just 1 percent more votes than the BJP.

  10. Marks a fault: On a national level, Congress apparently has a same-old, same-old image problem. It is struggling to make a generational change in other states. The tiny state of Himachal, only the third it now rules, can thus be used for a big message: that Congress is not afraid of disruptive change, and that family is not all that matters. This roll may lead to a non-Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, becoming the party head, though the Gandhis remain the “high command”.

See also  मंदिरों में नहीं होगी सलाम आरती; निर्भया फंड से खरीदी गाड़ियां नेताओं की सुरक्षा में | Dainik Bhaskar News Headlines; Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu Narendra Modi | Eknath Shinde Nirbhaya Fund

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