Himachal Pradesh Assembly election results: Congress wrests hill state from BJP, eight ministers lose, CM Jairam Thakur resigns : The Tribune India

Himachal Pradesh Assembly election results: Congress wrests hill state from BJP, eight ministers lose, CM Jairam Thakur resigns

Final Tally: Congress 40 | BJP 25 | Independent 3


Shimla, December 8

The Congress on Thursday wrested Himachal Pradesh from the BJP winning 40 seats in the 68-member Assembly in the hill state which maintained its tradition of not voting any incumbent government to power since 1985.

According to the results declared by the Election Commission, the BJP won 25 seats, while eight state ministers, including Suresh Bhardwaj, Ram Lal Markanda and Surveen Chaudhary lost.

The Independents won from three constituencies and the Aam Aadmi Party, which had contested from 67 seats, failed to open its account.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge hailed the people of Himachal Pradesh and his party leaders as the Congress secured a much-needed win, riding on anti-incumbency and a slew of poll promises, including bringing back the old pension scheme and providing jobs to the youth and Rs 1,500 to every woman.

Party leader Rahul Gandhi assured the people that every promise made by the Congress will be fulfilled.

The Congress has convened a meeting of all its newly-elected MLAs in Himachal Pradesh in Shimla on Friday and the meet is likely to pass a resolution authorising the Congress president to elect the CLP leader.

The Congress’ vote share was 43.9 per cent and the BJP’s was 43 per cent - a gap of less than one per cent which was highlighted by both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief J P Nadda in their address to party workers in Delhi after the poll results were declared.

The BJP had given the slogan of “Raj nahin, riwaz badlega”, which translates to “the convention will change, not the government”, but failed to buck the trend. Himachal Pradesh has not voted any incumbent government to power since 1985.

Nadda thanked the BJP workers for their hard work in his home state Himachal Pradesh and asserted “raj may have changed, but ‘riwaz’ also changed as there was a gap of less than 1 per cent in vote share of the top two parties”.

The BJP and the Congress contested on all 68 constituencies.

AAP, whose campaign had tapered after the initial phase, bagged 1.10 per cent of votes. The CPI (M), which fought on eleven seats, also did not win any seat and its sitting MLA from Theog lost. It got 0.66 percent of votes, Independents and others got 10.39 percent while 0.59 percent of votes went to NOTA.

Outgoing Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on many seats the victory margin was narrow. He said on nearly eleven to twelve seats, the winning margin was below 1,000 votes.

The lowest margin of 60 votes was registered by Suresh Kumar of Congress from Bhoranj seat.

Thakur defeated his nearest Congress rival Chet Ram by 38,183 votes from the former’s Seraj seat in Mandi district. It was the highest victory margin in these elections.

“If you also see vote share, the difference (between Congress and BJP) is just about 1 per cent. Despite that, Congress registered a win on many seats... But we respect the mandate,” Thakur said before resigning.

“We will give constructive support rising above partisan politics but where we feel interests of the state are not being protected, we will raise the issues before people,” he said and expressed the hope that the new Congress government will fulfil its election promises.

Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar has accepted his resignation, official sources said.

While the BJP was celebrating its stupendous victory in Gujarat, Prime Minister Modi also thanked the voters of the hill state for their affection and support to the party and said it will keep working to fulfil the aspirations of the state and raise people’s issues.

Among the prominent winners and losers, Congress leaders and chief ministerial aspirants including Asha Kumari, Ram Lal Thakur and Kaul Singh suffered shock defeats.

Former Union minister Sukh Ram’s son Anil Sharma of the BJP retained his Mandi Sadar seat defeating his rival from the Congress.

BJP candidate D S Thakur defeated six-time Congress MLA Asha Kumari in Dalhousie assembly seat by a margin of 9,918 votes. Asha Kumari was among the chief ministerial probables.

Hoshiyar Singh from Dehra and K L Thakur from Nalagarh are among the three Independents who won.

Former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s son and sitting Congress MLA from Shimla (Rural) Vikramaditya Singh retained his seat by defeating his nearest rival Ravi Kumar Mehta of the BJP by 13,860 votes.

Of the 24 women who were in the fray, only BJP’s Reena Kashyap won from Pachhad reserved seat.

The counting of votes for the 68-member assembly began at 8 am. For the Congress, a victory in Himachal Pradesh was needed for a revival as it has been battered by a spate of electoral losses in the last few years.

AICC in charge of Himachal Pradesh Rajeev Shukla said the party was happy that it is getting an opportunity to form the government in the state and asserted that it will do everything to fulfil the 10 guarantees made to the people of the state and would provide better governance to people.

Shukla said Priyanka Gandhi took the reins of the campaign in her hands and lauded her contribution. He also thanked Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, former chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and general secretary organisation K C Venugopal for their cooperation in poll preparations.

He said Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra had also had an indirect impact on the elections and among the people.

While Shukla is AICC in charge of Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was appointed senior observer for the polls.

Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Pratibha Singh, the wife of late Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, hailed the party’s win in the assembly elections, saying the party MLAs will sit and decide on the chief ministerial pick.

Pratibha Singh is considered a key frontrunner for the chief minister’s post, closely followed by former party chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and outgoing CLP leader Mukesh Agnihotri.

The main opposition party had raised issues of price rise, unemployment, and the old pension scheme, among others.

The BJP’s campaign in Himachal saw a special focus on women and youth, with the party rolling out a standalone manifesto for women for the first time in the state’s history. PTI

#BJP #Congress #Shimla

16:11 08 Dec
Mukesh Agnihotri wins Haroli seat

Cong leader Mukesh Agnihotri wins Haroli seat. Defeats BJP's Ram Kumar by 9,148 votes, according to Election Commission.

15:57 08 Dec
BJP concedes defeat

BJP concedes defeat in Himachal Pradesh, CM Jai Ram Thakur says he will shortly hand over resignation to governor.

15:39 08 Dec
Minister Sarveen Chaudhary loses from Shahpur       

Himachal Pradesh minister Sarveen Chaudhary lost from the Shahpur seat in Kangra. She was defeated by Congress candidate Kewal Singh Pathania by a margin of 12,243 votes. The BJP had brought Vijay Singh Mankotia into the fold to brighten Chaudhary's winning prospects, but anti-incumbency still took a toll on the party.


15:23 08 Dec
Cong's Harshwardhan Chauhan wins from Shillai

Congress candidate Harshwardhan Chauhan declared winner from Shillai by a narrow margin of 382 votes. 

15:22 08 Dec
Lokender Kumar of BJP wins from Ani seat

Lokender Kumar of BJP has won from Ani seat in Kullu district by a margin of 6778 votes.

14:59 08 Dec
2 BJP ministers face defeat

State minister Suresh Bhardwaj loses to sitting Congress MLA Anirudh Singh from Kasumpti. Minister Ram Lal Markanda loses from Lahaul and Spiti. Ram Lal Markanda lost to his nearest Congress rival Ravi Thakur by a margin of 1,616 votes, according to the Election Commission.

14:57 08 Dec
Independent candidate Hoshiyar Singh wins from Dehra

Independent candidate Hoshiyar Singh won the Dehra assembly seat, defeating his Congress rivals by more than 3,500 votes. Singh defeated Rajesh Sharma by a margin of 3,877 votes.

Singh, an Independent MLA, had joined the BJP just before the November 12 assembly polls in the state, but he was denied the ticket. 

14:41 08 Dec
BJP’s Dalip Thakur wins from Sarkaghat

Dalip Thakur of BJP won by a margin of 1807 votes from Sarkaghat seat.

14:18 08 Dec
Independent candidate Ashish Sharma wins from Hamirpur

Independent candidate Ashish Sharma on Thursday won from the Hamirpur assembly seat by defeating his Congress rival. Sharma defeated Congress candidate Pushpinder Verma by a margin of 12,899 votes. 

14:13 08 Dec
Deep Raj of BJP wins from Karsog

Deep Raj of BJP declared winner by a margin of 10534 votes from Karsog seat in Mandi.

14:11 08 Dec
BJP's Ranbir Singh wins Nurpur seat

BJP candidate Ranbir Singh defeated Congress' Ajay Mahajan by a margin of 18,752 votes to win the Nurpur seat, according to the Election Commission.

The contest for Nurpur was keenly watched as Minister Rakesh Pathania, who has won three times from the seat, was shifted to Fatehpur as the BJP candidate.

14:10 08 Dec
Anil Sharma retains Mandi Sadar seat for BJP

Former Union minister late Sukh Ram's son Anil Sharma retained the Mandi Sadar seat for the BJP by defeating his nearest Congress rival. Sharma beat Champa Thakur by a margin of more than 10,000 votes, according to the Election Commission.

14:09 08 Dec
BJP's Sukh Ram Chaudhary retains Poanta Sahib seat

BJP candidate and sitting minister Sukh Ram Chaudhary has retained the Poanta Sahib Assembly seat in Sirmaur by defeating his Congress rival. He defeated Congress candidate Kirnesh Jung by a margin of 8,596 votes. There were nine candidates in the fray from this seat.


14:08 08 Dec
Congress' Neeraj Nayar wins from Chamba

Congress candidate Neeraj Nayar has won from the Chamba seat by defeating his BJP rival, according to the Election Commission. He defeated Neelam Nayar of the BJP by a margin of 7,782 votes.

14:03 08 Dec
Cong’s Rohit Thakur wins from Jubbal Kotkhai

Cong candidate Rohit Thakur won by 5069 votes from the Jubbal Kotkhai constituency. He polled 31393 votes while BJP's Chetan Bragta got 26324 votes

13:29 08 Dec
Congress' Harish Janartha wins Shimla (Urban)

Congress' Harish Janartha wins Shimla Urban seat, defeats nearest BJP rival Sanjay Sood by 3,037 votes, according to EC.

13:10 08 Dec
Congress Shandil wins from Solan

Congress candidate DR Shandil wins by 3,208 votes from Solan

13:09 08 Dec
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur wins

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur wins by a record margin of over 37,000 votes.  This is the highest ever winning margin by any CM in Himachal.   Besides this BJP is leading in nine of the 10 segments on CM’s home turf of Mandi.  In the last assembly polls in 2017, BJP had won nine seats.

12:14 08 Dec

Cong dominating district Shimla, ahead in 7 out of eight constituencies. BJP ahead in Chopal alone

12:08 08 Dec
Six-time Congress MLA Asha Kumari trailing in Dalhousie

Six-time Congress MLA Asha Kumari is trailing in Himachal Pradesh's Dalhousie assembly seat with BJP candidate D S Thakur in the lead with a margin of by 7,191 votes, according to the Election Commission. 

11:58 08 Dec
Congress' sitting MLA from Kasumpti Anirudh Singh leading

Congress' incumbent MLA Anirudh Singh is leading over his nearest BJP rival Suresh Bhardwaj in the Kasumpti assembly seat. 

The erstwhile member of the Koti royal family, Singh was ahead with a margin of 7,596 votes in the seat which has an urban-rural mix.

11:51 08 Dec
Kuldeep Rathore leading from Theog

Former Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Kuldeep Rathore is leading from Theog assembly seat in Shimla district with a narrow margin of 67 votes, according to initial Election Commission trends.

The stakes are high for Rathore who is contesting for the first time.

It was during his tenure as state Congress chief that the party won by-elections to the Mandi Lok Sabha seat and three assembly seats last year.

Theog is witnessing a multi-corner contest with Rathore pitted against sitting MLA and lone CPIM candidate Rakesh Singha, and BJP's Ajay Shyam. The entry of Indu Verma, wife of two-time former BJP MLA Rakesh Verma, and Vijaypal Khachi, son of former Congress stalwart and former cabinet minister, as independents made the contest interesting.

11:46 08 Dec
BJP's Rakesh Jamwal wins Sundernagar

BJP's Rakesh Jamwal wins Sundernagar seat by margin of over 8,000 votes. 

11:39 08 Dec
BJP sends Vinod Tawde to engage rebels

Moving quickly to manage the fast evolving Himachal situation where the main parties are locked in a tight contest, the BJP on Thursday morning deputed national general secretary Vinod Tawde to Shimla to watch the developments and lead parleys with rebels.

Party sources said Tawde would engage the four BJP rebels who are leading in early trends.

These include KL Thakur in Nalagarh and Hoshiar Singh in Dehra.

“Four rebels who are winning are from the BJP,” said a party source as the ruling BJP seeks to change the anti incumbency trend of 37 years in the state.

Meanwhile Avinash Rai Khanna, BJP state in charge is also expected to be in Shimla soon until the situation becomes clear.

10:31 08 Dec

Four Independents (3 BJP and 1 Congress rebel) ahead in Himachal

10:18 08 Dec

Congress leading in Solan, Kasauli, Doon and Arki while an Independent in Nalagarh after 2nd round in Solan district.

In Paonta Sahib, BJP's Sukh Ram leading with 3,561 votes after 3rd round

10:16 08 Dec

Cong leading on all 5 seats in Una. Haroli 2,200, Una 150, Kutlehar 2,400, Chintpurni 435, Gagret 809

10:15 08 Dec

In Sirmaur district, Congress is leading in Shillai and Nahan by thin margins while BJP ahead in Pacchad, Sri Renuka Ji and Paonta Sahib After third round in Shillai

BJP's BaldevTomar leads for the first time by 1,326 votes

Congress' Ajay Solanki leads by 628 votes in Nahan after 2nd round

10:13 08 Dec

In Kullu district, in Kullu and Manali Congress is leading, while in Ani BJP is leading and in Banjar independent candidate Hiteshwar Singh is leading.

09:58 08 Dec
AAP struggles to open account

AAP is not leading even in one seat out of 62 seats for which trends have been released.

09:39 08 Dec
BJP is leading on 9 seats in Mandi district, while Congress at 1

09:35 08 Dec
Ram Lal Markanda

Ram Lal Markanda of BJP is leading in Lahaul and Spiti of 1,251 votes

09:35 08 Dec
Vikramaditya Singh

Cong Vikramaditya Singh leading from Shimla rural

09:32 08 Dec
Sudhir Sharma of Congress leads

Sudhir Sharma of Congress leads by 1,300 votes from Dharamsala after first round

09:17 08 Dec

Deep Raj of BJP from Karsog is leading of 1,056 votes.

Rajat Thakur of BJP from Dharampur is leading of 346 votes

09:16 08 Dec
Counting in Solan

BJP's Sukhram Chawdhary leads after first round with 5,157 votes

Congress' Jung gets 3,261 votes in Paonta Sahib assembly seat

09:09 08 Dec
Pawan Thakur of Congress from Sarkaghat leads

Anil Sharma of BJP leading from Mandi Sadar with 1 vote.

Pawan Thakur of Congress is leading from Sarkaghat 1,204 votes

09:02 08 Dec
BJP leads in 3 seats of Mandi

CM Jai Ram Thakur leading from Seraj 2,226 votes, Rakesh Jamwal of BJP leading from Sundernagar, Puran Chand of BJP leading from Darang with 540 votes

08:55 08 Dec
Counting on in Mandi

08:46 08 Dec
CM Jai Ram Thakur leads in Seraj

The initial trends show that Congress is leading in 28 segments and BJP in 23 and independents in four constituencies. The counting has started with the postal ballots. CM Jai Ram Thakur is leading in his segment of Seraj in Mandi district.

08:17 08 Dec
High-stakes elections

The results of the high-stakes elections will also reveal whether the BJP's all-out personalised campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to buck the 'alternative government' trend has worked or not.

For the opposition Congress, however, a victory in Himachal is much-needed for its revival, as it has seen a spate of electoral losses in the last few years.

08:07 08 Dec
Counting will start with the postal ballot at 8 am 

Vote counting to begin December 8 in 68 counting halls at 59 locations

Counting will start with the postal ballot at 8 am followed by EVM counting at 8.30 am

08:04 08 Dec
52,859 postal ballots

As many as 52,859 (87 per cent approximately) postal ballots were received by December 6 by the returning officers from all over the state – an increase of 17 per cent as compared to 2017. A total of 45,126 were received in 2017.

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