Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections Results: Recently, actor Huma Qureshi-starerrer web series Maharani-1 and 2' received wide accolades. The web series narrated how a humble wife of a chief minister goes on not only check-mate her opponents but rises as an axis of state politics. The almost similar story ascended from reel to real in Himachal Pradesh.
Himachal Pradesh Congress president Pratibha Singh, the widow of Virbhadra Singh, who had been a six-time chief minister of the state, also represents the Mandi constituency in Lok Sabha, emerged as a ‘Chanakya’ (refer to Indian poll strategist) of Himachal Pradesh. Under her leadership, Congress defeated mighty BJP which is powered by stalwarts like PM Modi and Amit Shah. She overcame the party whose president is from Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh is the home state of BJP chief JP Nadda. Also Himachal is home to Union Minister Anurag Thakur.
Popularly known as ‘Maharani’, Pratibha Singh spearhead led Congress poll campaign to counter aggressive campaigns by BJP studded with a host of star campaigners- PM Modi, Amit Shah, JP Nadda, Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Anurag Thakur and others.
Who is Maharani?
She is the ‘Maharani’ of the royal Rajput family of the erstwhile princely state of Bushahr. Her husband Virbhadra Singh was one of the tallest politicians in the hilly states. He was the 122nd titular Raja of Bushahr from 1947 until 1971. However, 26th Amendment to the Constitution of India, the privy purses of the princes were abolished and official recognition of their titles came to an end but it was not the end of the political dominance of the royal family. Her husband used to control Congress in the state. He was party president for 66-year (1983-2017). The dominance of the royal family in Congress continues even after the death of Virbhadra Singh as his wife got the reign of the party.
Meanwhile, the ‘Maharani’, successfully shouldered the huge responsibility to regain the lost electoral ground for Congress that too when her party is on waning and losing one by another elections.
In past too, Pratibha Singh proved her political strength by defeating BJP leader Brigadier Khushal Thakur in Mandi Lok Sabha byelection which was necessitated following the death of MP Ram Swaroop Sharma who won in 2019 General Lok Sabha election. Despite the sympathy in favour of BJP and Modi-wave, Pratibha Singh outsmarted saffron party's candidate which showed her acumen as a politician.
However, this time the challenge was much bigger, and wresting power from BJP in the state was not an easy task but she did it.
If all goes as per Congress’ expectation, she will be crowned as next chief minister of Himachal Pradesh. According to election commission, Congress is leading on 39 constituencies, while BJP reduced to 26 as the counting is still underway but the grand old party took unassailable lead in the state.