Anurag Thakur, son of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and president of the Bhartiya Yuva Janata Dal, is confident that the Bharatiya Janata Party will return to power in the state with more than two-thirds majority.
Speaking to rediff.com from Una district where he is campaigning with senior BJP leader L K Advani, Thakur claimed that the Congress is in a bad shape with charges of corruption against former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
What is the BJP's position right now?
We are in a very good position. We will win by a two-third majority and further consolidate our position.
But Virbhadra Singh claims that the Congress is giving you a tough fight and says his party will turn the tables against you.
I don't know on what basis he is making such claims. He would be lucky if he manages to save his seat from Rampur.
What makes you say so?
I have toured half the state during my campaign. The ground situation is not too good for him. With serious charges of corruption that forced him to quit the Union Cabinet, the Congress is not likely to make any impact on the state assembly elections.
What about the women in the fray?
The Congress has fielded three women candidates as against 7 by the BJP. We have carefully selected our candidates. They should win at least 5 of the 7 seats they are contesting.
How many seats do you hope to win?
Ans: In the 2007 elections, we won 41 seats out of 68, with over 43 per cent votes. We hope to improve this. We should get more than 50 seats this time around. Advaniji had held major rallies in the state, particularly in Una on Sunday, and this may help us in adding to our tally.
But there are charges of corruption against party president Nitin Gadkari. Will that not have an impact on your performance?
The results will tell the real story. I have nothing more to say for the time being.
How many constituencies has the chief minister toured so far?
He has toured the entire state. His government has spent more than Rs 8,275 crore on government employees who had in the past voted for change. Our government would provide induction chulhas (cookers) for people living below the poverty line.
The Congress has raised the prices of cooking gas, petrol, diesel which is affecting the people. We will provide over 3 lakh jobs both in the government and the private sector during the next five years. We believe in performance before asking to vote for BJP. The Congress is only making false promises.