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Himachal

Posted at: May 21, 2019, 7:05 AM; last updated: May 21, 2019, 7:05 AM (IST)

BJP camp upbeat after exit polls, Cong nervous

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, May 20

It was a day of relaxation with family and friends at home for senior leaders, ministers and all candidates who are eagerly awaiting the outcome of their hard labour on May 23 when the counting of votes will begin.

The Secretariat here continued to wear a deserted look with none of the ministers and the Chief Minister being back to work. Even though the results will be announced on May 23, the code of conduct will continue till May 27. The Cabinet is likely to meet on May 28.

While the BJP cadre remained upbeat after the exit poll results, there was a visible gloom among the Congress cadre, while being apprehensive of the party’s victory.

All ministers, who were contacted, said they would return to Shimla only after the counting was over. However, all of them sounded confident of winning all four seats. “I congratulate the people for turning out in large numbers for casting their vote which will strengthen democracy. The greater women turnout of 74.38 per cent, higher than men, is a welcome sign of women being keen to play an equal role in the development of the state,” he said.

Hamirpur MP Anurag Thakur was at his native place at Samirpur in Hamirpur with his father and former Chief Minister PK Dhumal. They spent the day meeting party workers while assessing the voter turnout. Similarly, Congress candidate from Hamirpur Ram Lal Thakur, a sitting MLA, met workers in Bilaspur. Mandi Congress candidate Ashray Sharma spent anxious moments at his home in Mandi, while assessing how he performed. His opponent Ram Swaroop was in Mandi meeting party workers.

All ministers spent the day today relaxing at home in their Assembly segments and also assessing the votes that they would get from each booth. The massive turnout of voters, the highest-ever in Himachal, and the exit poll results giving a thumping majority to the BJP had left the Congress cadre demoralised. Even as they were hopeful of wresting at least one seat from the BJP, they are uncertain about the poll results.

“The results on May 23 will be contrary to the exit polls. Very heavy voter turnout always goes against power that-be, which indicates that the Congress is winning,” said state Congress president Kuldeep Rathore.

Assessment begins

  • Hamirpur MP Anurag Thakur along with his father and former CM PK Dhumal was at his native place at Samirpur in Hamirpur. They spent the day meeting party workers while assessing the voter turnout. 
  • Congress candidate from Hamirpur Ram Lal Thakur, a sitting MLA, met workers in Bilaspur.
  • Mandi Congress candidate Ashray Sharma (pic) spent anxious moments at his home in Mandi, while assessing how he performed. His opponent Ram Swaroop was in Mandi meeting party workers. 

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