Shimla, April 29
Even as the Shimla MC elections approach, the AAP has still not decided whether it wants to participate. “The party is deliberating and the central leadership will take the last call,” AAP spokesman Gaurav Sharma said. Incidentally, the AAP had previously declared on several occasions that it would contest the MC elections and its local leaders had even started fieldwork in several districts. A Delhi AAP official said: “There have been a lot of changes in the organization of the state over the last month. This shook up plans a bit, and the party is now thinking back to those polls.
Ready to fight and win
We are ready to contest and win MC elections, whether they are held on the party symbol or otherwise. It is actually Congress trying to run away from the contest. — Ravi Mehta, BJP District Chairman
Meanwhile, the other three parties – BJP, Congress and CPM – are already on the ground. While the government has yet to announce whether the elections will be held on the party symbol, Congress and the CPM are challenging the government to hold the elections on the party symbol. “Elections should be held on the symbol of the party, otherwise the ruling regime can engage in bargaining,” said CPM leader and former mayor Sanjay Chauhan. “If the BJP government hesitates to conduct it on the party symbol, it will be tantamount to conceding defeat,” he said.
The Congress, too, is building the perception that the BJP does not want to lead the polls on the party symbol. “The BJP claims to have done so much development in the city and in the state. If he’s so confident, then why is he running away from a party symbol contest? said Congressional Spokesman Naresh Chauhan. “Elections for civic bodies will show who is standing where, before the Assembly elections,” Chauhan added.
Talks over BJP trying to avoid party symbol contest started when BJP state chairman Suresh Kashyap avoided a straight answer on whether elections would be held on party symbol. gone or not about two weeks ago. The opposition says the BJP does not want any setbacks ahead of the Assembly elections and therefore wants to avoid challenging the party’s symbol.
BJP District Chairman Ravi Mehta said, “We are ready to contest and win the MC elections, whether they are held on the party symbol or otherwise. It is actually Congress trying to run away from the contest.