It promises to be the most exciting hillside election campaign in recent times. With multiple rallies by PM Narendra Modi, the BJP has got off to a flying start. Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP started off strong but has recently shifted much of its focus to Gujarat. The congressional campaign rests on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s shoulders, but has yet to get underway. News18 travels across the state to gauge public sentiment and political strategies ahead of the 2022 Himachal Pradesh elections.
Himachal Pradesh’s Sirmaur is getting ready to welcome the Union’s Home Secretary, Amit Shah, and expresses gratitude for fulfilling their long-awaited demand to grant them tribal status on Saturday.
Shah will attend Sataun Kasba of Pachhad constituency in Trans-Giri region and address a meeting with people from the Hatti community.
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jairam Thakur, who is overseeing the preparations for the event, will also attend.
Union Cabinet had approved in September to add the Hatti community of Trans-Giri area to the list of notified tribal communities.
“The Hatti community will thank the Union Minister of Interior Shah for delivering on the promise,” a senior party leader added.
The event will send a message to Hattis that the BJP has taken care of their interests, a senior party leader said, as the decision to grant tribal status to the community will affect the constituencies of Shillai, Paonta Sahib, Renuka and Pachhad. Apart from this, the Hatti community has a significant presence in the seats of Nahan, Solan, Shimla, Shimla Rural and Choupal. The election polls in Himachal are expected to take place in the next two months.
Thakur proactively followed the issue of the Hatti community being given tribal status. Although there are social, cultural and geographical similarities between the Hatti community of the Trans-Giri region and the Jaunsar community of the Jaunsar-Bawar area of Uttarakhand, the latter had been granted tribal status in 1968.
The pledge was made in 2009 by the BJP, which was delivered by the Center last month. Hattis are a community whose traditional occupation is to sell homegrown crops, vegetables and meat in places called ‘hate’, a local market.
There are a total of 154 panchayats in the Trans-Giri area. According to senior BJP leaders in the state, about 1.60 lakhs of Hatti community people in the state will benefit from their tribal status.
Shah launches song for election campaign
Sources in the party said Shah is likely to launch the election campaign song, sung by legendary singer Udit Narayan, at the event. The song focuses on the achievements of the twin-engine government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CM Thakur.
“The song has elements of Himachal, in tone and in image. Any Himachali could identify with it,” a source said.
The BJP won 44 out of a total of 68 Himachal assembly seats in the 2017 polls. This year there are elections in the state.
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