Rid­ing high on Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s charisma and striv­ing hard to re­gain power, the party has not pro­jected any chief min­is­te­rial face. The BJP has been on a pub­lic­ity over­drive in Hi­machal for a year, launch­ing a se­ries of drives to bol­ster its cam­paign in the hill state. Scores of cen­tral lead­ers, in­clud­ing Modi and party chief Amit Shah, are tak­ing keen in­ter­est in the cam­paign and have man­aged to keep fac­tion­al­ism at bay. The party has a strong base in lower Hi­machal.

In 1998, Prem Ku­mar Dhu­mal formed the govern­ment with the help of Sukh Ram’s Hi­machal Vikas Con­gress and later made in­roads in Con­gress strongholds, in­clud­ing the ap­ple-grow­ing belt. Dhu­mal formed the govern­ment in 2008 but in­fight­ing led to de­feat in 2012. This time, the party has de­cided not to project a CM can­di­date and fo­cus­ing on win­ning. It has been woo­ing Sched­uled Castes. The RSS cadres in Hi­machal have al­ready fanned out to bol­ster the BJP cam­paign

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