Home / Elections / Assembly Elections /  Himachal Pradesh poll results: BJP eyes 2nd term with new record, Congress confident of getting majority

The Himachal Pradesh election 2022 result will be declared today i.e. on 8 December. The counting of votes polled in the HP election 2022 will start at 8 am and continue till the counting is done for all 68 seats.

With exit poll predictions of a return of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Himachal Pradesh, the ruling party is hoping to set new records by changing the trend of not repeating government after five years while the Congress is hopeful that the party would form the government with a full majority in the hill state.

The Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections were held on 12 November and around 75.6 percent polling percentage was recorded.

The hill State witnessed an intense campaign with BJP trying to return to power for a second consecutive term and Congress backing on its '10 guarantees' that the party listed out in its manifesto to take them home. The emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party as the third major political force in the state has intensified the electoral battle.

Also See: Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election Result 2022 Live Updates

Besides these three parties, parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Rashtriya Devbhumi Party (RDP) are also in the fray.

Both BJP and Congress have claimed victory in the state which has had a tradition of changing governments for the past several years. If BJP wins then it will beat the anti-incumbency and change the trend of the alternate government in the state.

The Election Commission has made adequate preparations for the counting of votes. There will be 68 counting halls in 59 locations across the state.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Maneesh Garg said 10,000 duty staff including the security personnel have been deployed as part of security arrangements.

He said teams of returning officers and assistant returning officers have also been deployed to ensure smooth counting process.

Polling for 68 assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh was held on November 12, with the state recording a 75.6 per cent turnout, breaking the 2017 record.

The first randomization for the entire process was completed on December 1 and the first schedule of training was conducted on December 2 and 3.

The second randomization process was completed on December 6 and the second training process was in progress today, Garg said, adding that the 3rd randomization will take place on Thursday before the counting begins.

He said that depending upon the availability of the space, a maximum of 14 counting tables and a minimum of eight counting tables would be available in the counting halls. He said that there will be a separate table for nearly 500 postal ballots.

Besides, there will also be separate tables for scanning of electronically transmitted postal ballots linked to computers for counting.

CEO said that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) for the tribal Lahaul Spiti were shifted to Bhuntar in Kullu and the counting for Lahaul Spiti assembly segment will take place at Bhuntar. Similarly, for the tribal Bharmour assembly segment, the counting will take place in Chamba and for the Kinnaur assembly segment the counting will take place in Reckong-peo.

"We have also held meetings with the representatives of the political parties at state, district and sub-division levels already and have asked them to depute their counting agents for ensuring transparency," he said adding that no candidate or any other person will be allowed within a perimeter of 100 metres from the counting centres except those having a valid identity card/pass issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Out of the postal ballots issued to employees deployed on election duty, 52,859 postal ballots were received back by December 6, 2022 (approximately 87 per cent) by the returning officers all over the state, Maneesh Garg had said on Wednesday.

Speaking to news agency ANI, BJP state vice president Rajeev Bhardwaj has said that the ruling party in the state will "change the tradition (of alternate governments)" while former state Congress chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu has expressed confidence that the party will come back to power in the state.

He claimed that Congress will win 47 seats while BJP will be able to win 20 seats.

According to the exit polls predicted on Monday, BJP has an edge over Congress in a tough fight in Himachal Pradesh. News24 Chanakaya predicted a hung parliament in the state with 42% vote share for both BJP and Congress. India Today-Axis has predicted win for Congress. They have said that Congress will win 40 seats in the state assembly.

Apart from that every other exit poll has predicted BJP is slated to win by a narrow edge over Congress. BJP has been predicted to bag 35 seats, Congress 30 seats and AAP 0 seats. Some surveys projected a range of 24-41 seats for the BJP and 20-40 seats for the Congress. 

Apart from this, there are also there are 91 independents in the fray including about two dozen rebels who may cut into the votes that would have normally gone to the official party candidates, and spoil their prospects.

The political parties, however, are focused on independents who have a bigger chance of winning. Both the BJP and the Congress are chalking out strategies to rope them in, in case they themselves fall short of majority.

The independents with better chances of winning include K L Thakur (Nalagarh), Manohar Dhiman (Indora), Ram Singh (Kullu), Raju (Arki), Hosihiyar Singh (Dehra), Indu Verma (Theog) and Sanjay Prasher (Jaswan-Pragpur).

“We will get a clear mandate and form the government. Independents are welcome if they are willing to associate with the government, and remaining in touch with independent candidates is a normal process," Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur told PTI.

Leader of the Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri also claimed that Congress was all set to win majority and said party leaders are in contact with the independents.

In some elections in the past, Independents have played a significant role in the state, which has a record of alternating between the two main parties every assembly election.

In 1982, the Congress won 31 out of 68 seats in 1982 and formed the government with the help of independents. The BJP and Janata Party won 29 and two seats, respectively, and independents bagged six seats in that election.

BJP leader Shanta Kumar went to Raj Bhavan to stake his claim to form the government after two Janata Party members assured their support. But both of them failed to turn up there. Instead, four independents extended support to the Congress.

In 1998, the lone independent member Romesh Dhawala held the balance, supporting first the Congress and then the BJP-Haryana Vikas Congress alliance. Ultimately, a BJP-led government was sworn in.

Notably, in the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP formed the government by winning 44 seats while Congress secured 21 seats. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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