How Sukhvinder Sukhu won the race for chief minister in Himachal Congress: 10 factors – Flying Journals


How Sukhvinder Sukhu won the race for chief minister in Himachal Congress: 10 factors

Sukhvinder Sukhu is known for his radical political style, which he inherited from his university days. (document)

Shimla/New Delhi:
Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has been elected chief minister of Himachal Pradesh state after nearly four decades of allegiance to the Congress party, although rivals will gain key posts to keep the balance.

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

  1. Numbers first: Sukhvinder Sukhu has the support of more than half of the 68-member 40-member MP. Even in his hometown of Hamirpur — home to BJP Union minister Anurag Thakur and his father Prem Kumar Dumar, a veteran — the Congress party won Four of the five seats, while the fifth was also won by a Congress Party leader who had turned a rebel.

  2. Self-made picture: His rivals, Pratibha Singh and Mukesh Agnihotri, started their careers in politics in the shadow of the late “Raja” Virbhadra Singh – wife, journalist and protégé.They were compared with the self-constructed image of former student leader Mr Sukhu He used to sell milk and his father was a bus driver. Rivals have already struck a balance — Mukesh Agnihotri will become deputy chief minister; Pratibha is currently head of the state department, and her son Vikramaditya may also hold the top job.

  3. Simla is no stranger to: The Hamirpur district of Sukhvinder Sukhu is quite different from the capital, Shimla, and the upper hills, where the Virbhadra Singh clan draws strength from their erstwhile royal status. But Mr Sukhu is no stranger to Shimla, where he worked in student politics before winning municipal polls before graduating in state politics and moving to his hometown of Hamirpur district.

  4. Rise through the ranks: For forty years he has worked at almost every level of the Himachal Party. Promoted from National Students Union of India (NSUI) to Youth Congress to Head of National Unit. He has claimed the top seat and has made no secret of his rivalry with Virbhadra Singh, who died last year. It is a style that makes him stand out among leaders who are unassuming, second only to Rampur-Bouchard’s “Maharajah”.

  5. Radical Brands: The word “firebrand” is often used to describe sukwendr suhu, which he has had since running in the closely contested Himachal Pradesh University elections. A lawyer by education, he made no swaying remarks after his win, except for a hint last night when Prati Bassingh supporters held up slogans: “Slogans don’t make anyone chief. minister.”

  6. Team Rahul: Sukhvinder Sukhu was one of the early members of Rahul’s team. He is also young by political standards; at 58, he is about 10 years younger than Pratibha Singh, 66. Picking a worker-turned-leader rather than a royal heir fits with Congress’ renewed message of working at the grassroots level – a key theme of Rahul Gandhi’s “Bharat Jodo Yatra” .

  7. Plus Priyanka: Priyanka Gandhi’s 10 rallies – when Rahul Gandhi chose to stick with his Yatra – have received major accolades. Pratibha Singh’s recent comparison of the way a young Gandhi works to that of older members of the Congressional first family doesn’t boost her chances.

  8. Caste Balance: The Thakur/Rajputs as a community – the largest, comprising a third of the population – play a leading role in the politics of the Himachal Congress centered on the Virbhadra Singh family. Handing the top job to Mr Sukhu of the same community will not shake the caste math. Balance was achieved by giving Mukesh Agnihotri a post, as Brahmins were also politically dominant, albeit in numbers behind Thakurs and the historically privileged Dalits.

  9. Regional Matters: Mr Sukhu’s hometown of Hamirpur is part of the lower-middle Himalayas and the larger Kangra region. Virbhadra Singh – an extension of the state assembly – is often accused of favoring Shimla and Uphill, where Pratibha Singh was known as “Rani” long after the abolition of the princely states. Having Mr Sukhu as chairman gave the party wider regional influence, this time with just 1% more vote share than the BJP.

  10. Mark break: At the national level, Congress clearly has a stereotypical image problem. It has been working to effect generational change in other states.The small state of Himachal, now ruling only its third state, can be used to send an important message: Congress does not shy away from disruptive change, and family is not the most important. This introduction could be linked to the non-Gandhi Mallikarjun Kharge becoming the party chairman, although Gandhi remains the “high command”.

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