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In Himachal, gray and green stand for Virbhadra, maroon for Dhumal

Wondering why leaders of different parties in Himachal Pradesh wear different looking hats? Was it tradition related? Or was it a color code?

If locals are to be believed, it is part of what is popularly known as ‘topi politics’ in the hill state, which incumbent Prime Minister Jai Ram Thakur vowed to end when he took over five years ago. the power came.

His predecessor Virbhadra Singh popularly known as Raja Sahab in Himachal Pradesh wore the cap commonly used by most people of the state in the combination of green and gray. The cap in the combination quickly became synonymous with supporters of Singh.

“A lot of the people of the state wore the cap with this combination, as their CM would,” said Sushil Sharma, a local businessman at Mandi, a traditional congressional voter. He said it was not just a piece of clothing, but a way to extend their solidarity with Raja Sahab.

THE COLOR CODE

If you have seen people wearing the cap that has a dominant maroon shade, it is an indication that he is a sympathizer of the former Prime Minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Prem Kumar Dhumal.

“Dhumal has always had his followers who had no qualms about it, even with the change of government,” said Gobind Thakur, a resident of Shimla. Thakur, 65, who has seen both Dhumal and Singh as CMs, says government changes did not affect their loyalty to the cap they wore.

Although Thakur swore he would end the color-coding system and wear caps of both colors, he had initially said many times after he took over from CM that top politics in the state had to end and that he would be the first who would do that.

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Even as the CM, he has made sure to wear both caps, and sometimes prefer not to wear caps, for public gatherings. “Caps were also a representative of the region, Shimla and Lower Himachal,” said Arjun Singh, owner of a fashion store in Shimla’s Mall Road.

Dinanath Upadhyay, an avid admirer of Jai Ram Thakur, who owns a stall in Mandi, shows off his maroon cap to say he is a follower of Dhumal and appreciates the fact that Thakur does not differentiate between his followers and those of others.

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Thakur has been visiting his tea stall since his college days in 1983 and has stopped by even after becoming a minister in the Dhumal-led government of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“I always visited him when he came to Mandi and he always welcomed people, even those who wore the gray and green caps,” he said.

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