Outgoing Chief Minister Jairam Thakur submitted his resignation to Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar. “I respect the mandate. In a short while, I am going to hand over my resignation to the governor,” Thakur told reporters shortly before handing over his resignation to Governor Arlekar.
Independent candidates won three seats. The AAP failed to open its account while CPI-M also did not win any seat while its sitting MLA from Theog also lost. The AAP received 1.10 per cent votes, CPI-M 0.66 per cent, BSP 0.35 per cent, and Independents and others got 10.39 per cent, while 0.59 per cent went to NOTA.
Himachal Pradesh has not voted any incumbent government to power since 1985.
In Poanta Sahib, Minister Sukh Ram Chaudhary defeated nearest Congress rival Kirnesh Jing by 8,596 votes.
In Mandi district’s Sundernagar, sitting MLA and BJP leader Rakesh Jamwal defeated his nearest Congress rival by 8,125 votes.
The BJP also won Nurpur seat with Randhir Singh defeating Congress’ Ajay Mahajan by 18,752 votes.
Former Union minister late Sukh Ram’s son Anil Sharma retained his Mandi Sadar seat defeating his rival from the Congress.
Sharma defeated Congress’ Champa Thakur by 10,006 votes, according to the Election Commission.
From Shimla Urban, Congress’ Harish Janartha defeated his nearest BJP rival Sanjay Sood by 3,037 votes.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Jairam Thakur has won the Seraj assembly constituency by a margin of more than 38,000 votes over Chet Ram of the Congress.
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.
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.
BJP candidate D S Thakur defeated six-time Congress MLA Asha Kumari in Dalhousie assembly seat by a margin of 9,918 votes.
Counting of votes for the 68-member assembly began at 8 am.
The BJP’s slogan this time was “Raj nahin, riwaaj badlega”, which translates to, “the convention will change, not the government”.
The gap of less than one per cent between Congress and BJP vote shares 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
For the Congress, a victory in Himachal Pradesh was much needed for a revival as it has been battered by a spate of electoral losses in the last few years.
About 76.44 per cent of voters had exercised their franchise on November 12. Altogether, 412 candidates, including 24 women and 99 independents, are in the fray.
The BJP and the Congress contested on all the 68 constituencies, while the AAP fielded candidates on 67 seats, the Bahujan Samaj Party on 53 and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on 11 seats.
In 2017, the BJP won 44 seats, the Congress 21 and the CPIM gained one. Two Independent candidates, too, had won.
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