Continued Bi-party Competition
This chapter attempts to understand as to why Himachal Pradesh was the only State in North India to have bucked the overall positive mood of the region in favour of the Congress in the 2009 Lok Sabha election. Explaining the parliamentary verdict in the mainly mountainous State vis-à-vis the 2004 Lok Sabha and the 2007 Assembly election verdicts, the chapter tries to ascertain the possible reasons for the Congress’s dismal showing in Himachal in 2009. The chapter demonstrates how the party ruling in Shimla has almost always had an advantage in the Lok Sabha elections that have followed, and in that context, it also discusses briefly the outcome of the 2012 Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh which saw the Congress returning to power in the State. Himachal’s politics has been characterized by a bipolar competition between the Congress and the BJP and factionalism within these two parties is another factor that influences the electoral outcomes, something that the chapter also touches upon.
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