BJP ousts Congress in Himachal

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Dec 2017 08:23:21


 

SHIMLA,

THE Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday regained power in Himachal Pradesh from the Congress, winning 44 seats, falling short of a two-thirds majority by two seats in the 68-member house. The BJP, which had won 26 seats in 2012, recorded a 10 per cent jump in vote share that touched 48.7 per cent.


The Congress bagged 21 seats.
The ruling party had 36 seats earlier, and its vote share declined by 1 percentage point to 41.8 per cent. The CPI(M) candidate bagged one seat while two Independent candidates bagged two seats.


Amid the victories, there was some disappointment for the BJP -- Prem Kumar Dhumal, the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate in the hill state, lost to Congress’ Rajinder Rana in Sujanpur, after he changed his traditional constituency of Hamirpur.
He was made the CM face only nine days before the polling. In a tweet, Gandhi said his party “accepts the verdict of the people and congratulates the new governments in both States”.


Among Congress’ prominent winners were outgoing Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh (Arki) and his son Vikramaditya Singh (Shimla Rural), who entered the Assembly for the first time. State BJP chief Satpal Satti was humiliated in Una by Satpal Singh Razda of Congress.


Dhumal’s confidants Ravinder Ravi, Gulab Singh and Randhir Sharma, all outgoing legislators, also lost.
Congress Cabinet Ministers Sudhir Sharma, Thakur Singh and Prakash Chaudhary faced defeat.
Chaudhary lost in Balh in Mandi district to BJP’s Inder Singh Gandhi. BJP’s Ravindra Dhiman defeated Congress’ outgoing legislator Yadvinder Goma in Jaisinghpur and Kishori Lal of the BJP overcame Bansi Lal of the Congress from Anni. BJP’s Suresh Bhardwaj retained his Shimla seat, defeating Harbhajan Bhajji of the Congress.


Anil Sharma, who resigned from the Government and the ruling Congress and joined the BJP just before the polls along with his father and former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram, retained his Mandi seat.
Independent Hoshiar Singh dealt a humiliating defeat to heavyweights Ravinder Ravi (BJP) and Viplove Thakur (Congress) in Dehra.


Outgoing legislator Anirudh Singh of the Congress retained his Kasumpti seat by defeating BJP’s Vijay Jyoti Sain. Both belong to the royal families. CPI(M)’s Rakesh Singha defeated both the BJP and Congress in Theog.
BJP spokesperson Ganesh Dutt told IANS: “We have crossed the half-way mark. This clearly shows we are going to form the Government in the state.”


A total of 337 candidates contested the election. A total of 37,83,580 people voted in the hill state — a record 75.28 per cent polling.
The Congress and the BJP contested in all the 68 constituencies. Most exit polls had predicted the BJP’s return to power with an easy majority.
The State has alternately elected Congress and BJP since 1985. In 2012, the Congress won 36 seats and the BJP 26. Independents bagged six seats.