‘Himachal can have Chief Minister from Kangra…’

Vipin ParmarConsidered to be Shanta Kumar’s protégée, two times former BJP MLA from Sulah Vipin Parmar had entered mainstream politics after working at different posts for 14 years in party’s frontal organisation Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. His name is also doing the rounds for the posts of BJP state president in upcoming party’s organizational elections. Himachal This Week’s Jaideep Rehan talked to Vipin Parmar to track his political journey. Following are the excerpts of the interview:

Exclusive Interview

HTW: How would you recall your association with ABVP and later on entry into mainstream electoral politics?

Vipin Parmar: I have been associated with the Akhill Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad since 1982 and came in contact with RSS in 1984. I worked at different posts for 12 years in the organisation and started working as a party worker in Sulah assembly seat from 1993. The party fielded me as candidate when bye-elections were held after the demise of Man Chand Rana but I lost by 2200 votes. I won Sulah seat twice and now working as state secretary, in charge of Kangra-Chamba Lok sabha seat and member of core group of the party in the state.

HTW: Which BJP leader is your political guru in Himachal?

Vipin Parmar: Shanta Kumar is supreme leader of party for me. He inspired me to enter politics and he is my political guru and mentor. I also respect other party leaders including Prem Kumar Dhumal, JP Nadda, Satpal Satti and Pawan Rana.

HTW: What qualities you have acquired from your political guru?

Vipin Parmar: I have learnt to strengthen the party and take all workers along besides raising issues of people’s interest.

HTW: Shanta Kumar brought you in electoral politics in 1995. How would you describe your political journey since then?

Vipin Parmar: I was used to solving people’s problem till 1995 when I was in ABVP. After that I have tried to raise issues like roads, electricity, water, health, education, self employment and others when Sulah people elected me as MLA. I have been associated with people while in opposition also.

HTW: There are allegations that you only win when there is anti-incumbency against Congress government? You won first election by 125 votes in 1998 and by 99 votes in 2007 whereas you lost by huge margins in 2003 and 2012? Why there is huge gap in victory and losing?

Vipin Parmar: It has been the character of Sulah assembly seat. I lost by 3800 votes when number of electorate increased to 85,000. Moreover, Congress people indulge in corrupt practices besides making false promises during elections.

HTW: What difference you find in the BJP of 90s and now?

Vipin Parmar: I can’t differentiate between BJP of 90s and now because I was an ABVP activist and not in party in 1990. However, the BJP follows democratic character and takes all people along.

HTW: You are accused of going with the power at the helm of affairs. How would you negate such allegations?

Vipin Parmar: I respect all leaders as a committed worker of the party. It is my duty to percolate decisions of the organisation. If anybody visualizes this differently, then it is his personal thinking.

HTW: The BJP has allegedly divided Kangra district by creating four organizational districts in it thus reducing its political significance and creating wedge in the cadre. Was it done deliberately to reduce Shanta’s grasp over the area?

Vipin Parmar: These are baseless rumours. The organisation has thought seriously and created new organisational districts in big districts, including four in Kangra. It has increased workers participation and enhanced working capacity. The Congress has also adopted BJP’s formula of organisational districts.

HTW: What went wrong with BJP’s ‘Mission Repeat’ in 2012?

Vipin Parmar: The organisation faltered as the elections should have been fought on organisation’s responsibility. Independent candidates too spoiled BJP’s official candidates’ poll prospects. Results could have been different had such independent candidates been approached.

HTW: Who among young BJP leaders, according to you, is capable of providing leadership in Himachal? 

Vipin Parmar: The BJP has many such leaders like JP Nadda and Anurag Thakur.

HTW: Will BJP witness change in state leadership with emergence of JP Nadda as another power centre in Himachal?

Vipin Parmar: It is an honour for people of the state as Nadda has emerged at national level and entrusted the portfolio of Health Ministry. Decisions are taken collectively in the BJP and people are entrusted different responsibilities at appropriate time.  This issue falls under high command’s domain and Central leadership takes collective decisions on them.

HTW:  Will BJP factions sink their differences in the state as advised by party’s national president Amit Shah during his recent visit to Dharamshala?

Vipin Parmar: I don’t see any factionalism though there can be differences on certain issues. All issues are taken to core committee collectively.

HTW: Will BJP have another chief ministerial candidate from Kangra district in future?

Vipin Parmar: No one can comment on future happenings. Himachal can have chief minister from Kangra if high command thinks it right timely as it is the biggest district.

HTW: How would you rank BJP chief ministers Shanta Kumar and PK Dhumal?

Vipin Parmar: Both are senior and respected leaders of the party and I am not in a position to rank them.

HTW: Are you in the brace for the state BJP presidentship?

Vipin Parmar: I have fulfilled responsibilities that have been entrusted on me as party worker during past 18 years. I will accept any responsibility entrusted to me in future. I don’t have any wish but I will also not backtrack if the party entrusts me the responsibility of state president.

* Results could have been different had such independent candidates been approached

-Vipin Parmar BJP General Secretary


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