Prem Kumar Dhumal, the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for Himachal Pradesh who lost from Sujanpur seat, tells Indian Express that there are “several reasons” for his defeat. Excerpts from his interview:
It is a big victory for your party but a personal loss for you.
Personal loss does not have much importance, the main gain is the victory of the state BJP and at the national level. I am thankful to the people of the state who made the BJP victorious with two-thirds majority. I want to thank the central leadership and state party workers and congratulate the winners. Those who lost should not be disappointed as victory and defeat are parallel in politics.
Were you expecting this defeat?
No, I was not expecting it.
What led to your loss? Do you think it was because you shifted your seat?
There are several reasons, which I know and other people also know. We will introspect later. No comments on shifting my constituency, but yes, the party wanted to win this seat and they thought I would win from here. Maybe we could not provide the expected service to the people of this constituency. I will not blame anyone for this.
How do you view your loss?
It is part of life, and this not my only role — there are several others.
Do you think the late announcement of CM candidate was a reason?
Are you still in the CM race?
The winning BJP candidate from Kutlehar has offered to vacate his seat for you. I want to thank him, and do not want to comment further.
Would you give your blessings to whoever is picked for the CM’s post?
There are reports that Jai Ram Thakur has been called to Delhi. I will wait and see.
How do you see the defeat of some of your relatives, including Gulab Singh, father-in-law of Anurag Thakur, and Ravinder Ravi?
Everybody in the party is equally important, some lost and some won. I have sympathy for all the defeated candidates.
Did you receive a call from the party high command?
I have switched off my phone as I wanted to talk you (media) first, but I have all the support from the party high command.