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BJP wins four out seven seats in HP

By Jaspreet Kaur

December 18, 2017

The BJP was set to wrest power in Himachal Pradesh with its candidates on a victory lap in 36 of the 68 seats in the Assembly elections on Monday. The party has won four of the seven declared seats as counting of ballots progressed. The ruling Congress managed to won only one seat, while one each went to an Independent and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM).The saffron party won its first seat by defeating Congress cabinet Minister Prakash Chaudhary from Balh in Mandi district with a big margin. BJP’s Inder Singh Gandhi won this seat. Likewise, BJP’s Ravindra Dhiman defeated Congress’ sitting legislator Yadvinder Goma from Jaisinghpur, Kishori Lal of the BJP defeated Bansi Lal of the Congress from the Anni seat.BJP’s sitting legislator Suresh Bhardwaj retained his Shimla seat. He defeated Congress’ Harbhajan Bhajji. BJP and Congress veterans Ravinder Ravi and Viplove Thakur, respectively, faced humiliating defeat from Independent Hoshiar Singh from Dehra. Congress’ sitting legislator Anirudh Singh retained his Kasumpti seat by defeating BJP’s Vijay Jyoti Sain. Both belong to the royal families.CPI-M’s Rakesh Singha defeated his near rival Rakesh Verma of the BJP from Theog. Trends from the other counting centres across the hill state showed the Congress was ahead in 20 constituencies, while the BJP was leading in 40 seats and smaller parties and independents had inched ahead in all others seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party needs 35 seats to control the Himachal Assembly. State BJP spokesperson Ganesh Dutt told IANS: “We have crossed the half-way mark. This clearly indicates we are going to form the government in the state.”Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh (Arki) and his son Vikramaditya Singh (Shimla Rural) were, however, ahead of their BJP rivals. State BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti trailed behind the Congress from Una seat. However, BJP Chief Ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal, who was trailing in the first four rounds, is now leading his close rival Rajinder Rana of the Congress. A total of 337 candidates contested the November 9 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 a 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.- IANS