POLL VAULT 2012. Gujarat&Himachal Pradesh

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3. Himachal Pradesh

‘People are fed up, they want a third alternative’

Maheshwar Singh, who broke away from the BJP to form the Himachal Lokhit Party, tells Ashhar Khan why people will vote for change in the coming Assembly election.

EXCERPTS FROM AN INTERVIEW

Photo: Pradeep Kumar

How do you rate your party’s chances?
In the current atmosphere, people are looking for change. The demand for our party tickets has gone up considerably. People are fed up with both the Congress and the BJP. Our party is in a position to provide the change.

Will your party play the spoiler’s role?
Have the BJP and Congress forgotten what happened when Sukh Ram launched the Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC)? The main parties had to take support from the HVC. In Punjab, there is a small party like the Akali Dal in power. People’s blessings are with us. We have already announced 43 candidates and more will follow soon.

What is your grouse against the BJP and the Congress?
There is no difference between the BJP and the Congress. I don’t want to name individuals, but the high court has said that both the parties were acting at the behest of corporate houses.

You have been a part of the BJP and were close to Shanta Kumar. What ails the party?
Infighting is one of the issues. Shanta Kumar was always against corruption and nepotism. I’m surprised that he is supporting a party which is guilty on both counts.

If there’s a hung Assembly, will you support one of the bigger parties?
Himachal Pradesh may be a small state, but the people are politically very astute. I’m confident that such a situation will not arise where we will have to support any party.

ashhar@tehelka.com

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