Himachal elections: BJP ahead, Congress wins one seat
Shimla: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) looks set to wrest power from the Congress in Himachal Pradesh as it was leading in 40 seats while the ruling party bagged one seat and was leading in 21 others, according to Election Commission trends.
Congress candidate Anirudh Singh won the Kasumpti seat by defeating BJP’s Vijay Jyoti by a margin of 9,397 votes. Congress veteran and six-time chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his son Vikramaditya Singh are leading from Arki and Shimla (Rural) respectively, according to trends available for 65 of the 68 seats.
Independents are leading in two constituencies while the CPI(M) is ahead in one. Prem Kumar Dhumal, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in Himachal Pradesh, was trailing behind Congress’s Rajinder Rana in Sujanpur, according to early trends. Main rivals BJP and Congress contested all the 68 seats at stake.
The hill state witnessed a record 75.28% turnout. The Congress and the BJP had 36 and 26 seats respectively in the outgoing House. Himachal Pradesh has a tradition of change in government after every elections and going by the trend, this time it appears to be the turn of the BJP which is upbeat after the exit polls predicted a victory for the saffron party.
The BJP ousted the Congress in 1990 and the Congress avenged defeat in 1993. The BJP formed the government with the help of Himachal Vikas Congress in 1998 and the Congress was back in power in 2003. The BJP made a comeback in 2007.