Updated: December 18, 2017 10:27:57 pm
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which will form the next government in Himachal Pradesh, is likely to explore a new face for the Chief Minister as Prem Kumar Dhumal, the party’s CM candidate lost Sujanpur Assembly seat to Congress candidate Rajinder Rana.
Dhumal, who was trailing after the sixth round of counting in the state, conceded his defeat finally and said that his personal loss is diminished by the BJP’s victory in the hill state. He said that he will introspect about his loss and thanked the people of the state to have shown their faith in the saffron party.
As per the latest trends, BJP has won on 44 seats while Congress won 20 and was leading on 1.
Sitting CM Virbhadra Singh has won from Arki seat. Singh and his son Vikramaditya registered personal victories from their respective constituencies, though they were not able restore the Congress rule.
A total of 337 candidates contested in the election that was held on November 9 across 7,521 polling stations in the state. Along with the two CM candidates, a total of 62 sitting MLAs were in the fray. The exit polls have predicted an overwhelming victory for the BJP, which had a precise campaign under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and its president Amit Shah. The Congress campaign gathered pace only after Rahul Gandhi formally declared Singh as the chief ministerial candidate.
For the first time, the election commission used VVPAT machines to bring transparency in the voting procedure. The election body also introduced live webcasts from 2,300 polling stations to ensure free and fair polling across the state’s 12 districts. As counting of postal ballots began in the morning, Chief Election Commissioner, AK Joti expressed, “Questions being raised about EVMs, have already been answered by us in the media. VVPATs were there in every polling stations, which enabled voters to see whom they voted for, so issues being raised aren’t right. I assure that EVMS cannot be tampered with.”