Himachal BJP back on roads


Let me confess it. I’m a pucca Congressi. But I’d no qualms in accepting that one good thing BJP did in its last regime were the roads. Even being a pucca Congressi, I’d lambasted the ousted Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh, for neglecting the road to his constituency (Shimla-Rohru) and making trips by air. It’s early days to judge the BJP government. But my recent trip to Hatkoti and my village showed the difference, that the new government has taken up its pet project of building roads where it had left. The drive this time from Shimla to Hatkoti, was much smoother, especially from Fagu to Theog, and then from Chailla to Kharrapathaar.

The ditches are being filled and the patch work is being done. There are banners welcoming the local MLA and Agriculture Minister, Narinder Bragta. So he’s making frequent tours and visits to his constituency – by road. That’s the reason the patch work of the roads is being done. Parapets are being reconstructed and white-washed. Even the white reflectors on the walls are being painted. ‘Horn Please’ (on curves) too have a new paint. I really don’t know, whom to blame for the neglect in the past five years. Virbhadra Singh or Rohit Thakur, the then MLA from Jubbal-Kotkhai.

I’m happy, at least the patch-work is being done. In the past five years, not even patch work was done. Why should the PWD care, when Rajaji made air-trips to his constituency – Rohru? Now they have to show Bragtaji that they are working and his drive should be smooth. But did not that apply to Rohit Thakur? Did he have any influence at all in the party circles?

Ask any other pucca Congressi, and s/he would say – Rohit is a nice guy, and he listens to everybody and has a good attitude. We don’t want good attitude, we want good performance. Politics is one field, where good attitude and good performance go hand in hand. Remember Shanta Kumar. A good policy-maker, but what marred him was his attitude. No favours, not even to his own people, forget others.

Coming back to the roads, even the Trans-Pabbar road to my village, Mandal was tarred til Bholar Nalla, in the BJP regime. Further on, till Jhagtan/Jhadashli it was neglected by the Congress regime. The excuse was the thekedar has fallen ill. Was he ill for the last five years? Did he get well as soon as BJP came back to power. Travelling the six-kilometre stretch from Bholar Nalla to Mandal, made my JK tyres last only 40,000 kms. I replaced them with Bridgestone. But I was surprised to find work in progress to tar the further stretch and a smooth ride till Mandal.

The way to go. A Thumbs Up for at least the roads. I don’t know, how the government is doing on other projects. But one issue, I’d seriously like the BJP government to reconsider is the Sawra-Kuddu power project. It’ll be an environment disaster and disturb the local ecology. Rather focus on and encourage small power projects – like pann-chakki.

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A perfect story-teller, who is madly in love with the hills. Shimla is his first love, and probably the last too. Won't get tired reading Rudyard Kipling. Hopes to pick up poetry again soon.

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  1. I can smell a convert here. Next time it seems vividh would be shouting on rooftop that I am a pucca sanghi.

    Jokes apart, if one sees Congress actually did nothing on ground in Shimla district and BJP actually did nothing to reach out to the people. I feel the Congress would be active in Shimla distt till the time old guard of the party is alive & kicking. Once they are gone & if the BJP reaches out to the masses it will be a death knell to Congress.

    Who would have imagined that BJP could win a seat which gave 2 Chief Ministers to the state and won it after defeating the son of a former CM.

    Winds of change are indeed settling in..!!

  2. Hmmm. Not really Nityin. It’d be impossible to convert me, unless some party offers me the CM’s chair (Pls. Sceptics, don’t take me seriously. Let’s learn to laugh at ourselves). I even didn’t get a chance to exercise my right to vote as I live in Delhi. Last time, during the MC elections, I was in Shimla, somebody already had cast my vote, before I reached the polling booth. I don’t know for which party, the vote went to. I know, my one vote wouldn’t have made the difference, but still it’s my right.

    Also, the word Sanghi reminds me that and I’d like to reiterate, politics of religion doesn’t really bring BJP to power in Himachal. All have the right to stick to their opinion and use their judgement. I think so. And all have the right to disagree with me.

    Also, I haven’t judged Congress and BJP’s overall performance. It was just a ride to my village, which I found smoother than in the past five years. Kudos to BJP for putting the web of roads through the state. I’d expected the Congress to take the web further but if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

  3. Talking about Sangh and the term Sanghi, my grandfather was a staunch Congress man and a committed RSS worker. Of course, those were times when every thing was not mirrored in terms of politics. It was great to listen to him about nationalism preached by RSS and on the other hand talking about Gandhiji, Nehru and Dr. Parmar.

    Maybe Jansangh was not as deep rooted in the polity at that time and it was the Congress which ruled. Also his generation saw the partition and it would have been tough to see a part of the country becoming a seprate nation.

    It is in these present times that everything is seen with political eyes.

  4. Nice reading guys, Vividhaditya and Nityin.
    @ Vividhaditya. You have a beautiful and rare name. So seem to be your thoughts. You surely call spade a spade, a quality I like the most. And it is nice to know that there are people like me who want their rulers to perform, this being a rarity in Jubbal Kotkhai. Even though India in general and Jubbal Kotkhai in particular still do not vote for development. This is in fact, the true indicator of the health and progress of our democracy. Nice to have read your thoughts.
    @ Nityin. Am writing after a long time. Well, I’m in BJP but not a ‘sanghi’. In fact I’m a die hard supporter of freedom of religion. There are hundreds and thousands like me who make up the BJP. As for the congress ‘old guard’, do you still think that they matter today in congress? Does Shimla still lead the congress? Could they stop BJP winning J&K and Rohru?

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