The BJP on Thursday won all the four Lok Sabha seats in Himachal Pradesh. The Congress drew a blank for the second consecutive time in the hill state.
The polls were the first electoral challenge for Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, who was leading the party’s campaigns in Mandi, Shimla (reserved) and Kangra seats.
Speaking to the media after the results, the chief minister said, “I worked hard for the polls and visited all state Assembly seats, which is not what is normally done for Lok Sabha elections. The results show that the people of Himachal Pradesh have shown confidence in Modi ji, yet again.”
In Hamirpur, Anurag Thakur’s victory by a margin of 3.99 lakh votes signalled at the revival of Prem Kumar Dhumal, who was the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in the 2017 Assembly polls but lost the election from Sujanpur. Anurag, who contested from Hamirpur for the fourth time, has always banked on the clout his father wields in the constituency. Anurag said, “I will work harder and take on the responsibilities that my party will give me.”
State Congress chief Kuldeep Rathore said, “The result is totally unexpected. The way we were united in Himachal Pradesh, we did not expect such a result. Organisation-wise the BJP was better prepared. Our booth-level preparation was not as strong. But, the issues of unemployment, etc. all became irrelevant and the issue of national security took over after the Pulwama attack and the Balakot air strikes. It looks like people voted based on emotions.”