Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, was chosen above Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the people of Shimla, according to Industries Minister Harshvardhan Chauhan's remarks on Friday.
Speaking to reporters at this location, Chauhan said that the BJP has turned the race for the Shimla Municipal Corporation into a Modi-versus-Sukhu contest.
According to him, Shimla locals chose the Congress and excellent administration over the BJP's ideology despite the BJP putting up prime minister hoardings and asking for votes in his name.
24 out of the 34 wards of the Shimla Municipal Corporation were won by the Congress. The AAP, which had run candidates from 21 seats, did not win any wards, while the BJP won nine and the CPI(M) one.
Chauhan said that the Himachal Pradesh leadership of the BJP had failed three times in the previous two years, in the Shimla municipal elections in 2023, the assembly elections in 2022, and the byelections in 2021.
Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh, according to the minister, who also said that the whole state voted for the Congress. People from all districts and assembly districts reside in the city for work, commerce, and their children's education.
In his remarks, Chauhan referred to Jai Ram Thakur's remark that the Congress' election triumph was not really organic since voters from other areas had registered to vote in Shimla.
Additionally, he claimed that Shimla residents residing outside the city were forced to vote in the municipal elections and that the state's Congress administration interfered with the elections.
He had said that this duty was not only for Shimla residents.
According to Thakur, the order of the names on the Electronic Voting Machines was modified to favour Congress candidates.
In response to the accusations, Chauhan said that the names were listed in Hindi alphabetically along with the party emblems and added that the residents of the state and Shimla are informed and prepared to cast their votes for their preferred candidates.
Harish Janartha, a Shimla Urban MLA for the Congress, charged the BJP for providing cash and alcohol to sway votes.
The BJP responded angrily to Chauhan's comments, with Rajiv Bindal, the party's Himachal unit chairman, claiming that the prime minister is the tallest leader in the nation and that such a claim is unjustified.
He said, “that is absurd to interpret that as turning the municipal elections into a race between Sukhu and Modi. It is a fixed pattern of the BJP to put photos of its central leadership on hoardings and posters.
Bindal also accused the Congress of engaging in unethical behaviour, including mass voter registration, altering the order of names on electronic voting machines, and abusing its position to buy votes and influence elections.
Five months after voting in Nadaun, the chief minister cast his ballot in Shimla, and Bindal said it says volumes about the morals of the Congress.