Why Union Minister Anurag Thakur Is Trending After BJP’s Himachal Loss

Why Union Minister Anurag Thakur is trending after the loss of BJP's Himachal

Shimla/New Delhi:

After the BJP lost power in Himachal Pradesh to the National Assembly – somewhat diminishing their resounding victory in Gujarat – Union Minister Anurag Thakur, an MP from the hill state, was criticized by BJP supporters. quoted on social media when blaming him for infighting within the party.

Congressional staffers also jumped on this trend gloatingly, as did observers seeking to put the BJP’s failure into broader context.

Himachal, the home state of BJP national president JP Nadda, has seen BJP insurgents in at least 21 of the 68 constituencies. Only two of them won, but the others received substantial votes that would ideally have gone to the BJP.

In general, one sees tripartite factionalism going on: Anurag Thakur and JP Nadda each lead one faction, and the third is loyal to Minister Jairam Thakur.

Twitter user Dushyant A said Priyanka Gandhi, who campaigned extensively in another Congressional campaign, defeated key BJP figures, including Anurag Thakur.

Anurag Thakur even publicly shed tears “to praise the hard work” of his father, former prime minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who lost last time despite being predicted as the main leader of the BJP. Many see the tears as the son’s helplessness over his father’s failure to get a ticket, although Mr Dhumal and the party insist he has chosen to retire.

However, Mr Dhumal is seen as a potential winger should the BJP need to draw in the rebels in the event of a near ruling. He has said that the rebels are “part of our family” and “have their reasons”.

One Twitter user contrasted this with “the effect of Narendra Modi in Gujarat” and questioned the selection of candidates, blaming Anurag Thakur and JP Nadda.

Another went one step ahead, suggesting that the head of BJP Gujarat should become the party’s national president, replacing JP Nadda; and Anurag Thakur were “fired from the party”.

With or without insurgents, in the event that the BJP resists the trend of changing the state government in each election, Anurag Thakur is considered to be in the race for Minister.

This, although the party has stated that it is resisting the polls in the leadership of incumbent Jairam Thakur, besides relying on the charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Even Jairam Thakur wasn’t present in the previous one until Prem Kumar Dhumal lost and the group needed a replacement. It chose not to back Mr Dhumal – he could have been elected in a subsequent primary vote – and instead made a generational change.

For Mr. Nadda, who was a minister under Prem Kumar Dhumal, this is a prestigious battle. He said the loss needs to be seen in the context of the data: “We respect the ruling. But before that when the government changes, there will be at least 5% difference in the percentage of votes. We are poor. Congress less than 1%.”

Anurag Thakur has also not sent any tweets about Himachal at the time of submitting this report at 7pm, although he did forward PM Modi’s thank you message to voters.

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