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Himachal Pradesh results: Difference of 37,974 votes made all the difference for Congress over BJP

In the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP had won 44 seats with a vote share of 48.79 per cent, while Congress bagged 21 seats and the gap in vote share of the two parties was 7.11 per cent.

Congress party workers celebrate the party's lead in Himachal Pradesh state elections in Kullu, India, Thursday, Dec.8, 2022. (AP Photo/Aqil Khan)
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The Congress dislodged the BJP from power in Himachal Pradesh by bagging just 37,974 votes more than the saffron party.

Congress bagged 40 seats with a vote share of 43.9 per cent (18,52,504 votes), while the BJP, with a vote share of 43 per cent (18,14,530 votes), managed to win 25 seats, and the difference of vote share between the two was just 0.9 percentage points, which is lowest since 1951.

In the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP had won 44 seats with a vote share of 48.79 per cent, while Congress bagged 21 seats and the gap in vote share of the two parties was 7.11 per cent.

An analysis of the 2022 results also shows that the average winning margin of Congress (5,784 votes) across 40 Assembly constituencies was lower than BJP’s victory margin (7,427 votes) across 25 seats. The average winning margin across all 68 seats was recorded at 6,575 votes.

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The highest winning margin across the state was recorded in Seraj constituency, where Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur defeated Congress’s Chet Ram by a margin of 38,183 votes. The lowest margin was recorded in Bhoranj, where Congress candidate Suresh Kumar defeated Dr Anil Dhiman of the BJP by just 60 votes.

In all, eight seats were decided by a margin below 1,000 votes and of these, five seats — Bhoranj (60), Shillai (382), Sujanpur (399), Rampur (567) and Sri Renukaji (860) — were bagged by Congress, while BJP won three seats — Sri Naina Deviji (171), Bilashpur (276) and Darang (618).

Out of 68 seats, seven seats were decided by a margin of 1,000-2,000 votes. Of these seats, Congress won three (Bhattiyat, Lahaul-Spiti and Nahan), while BJP bagged four (Balh, Una, Jaswan-Pragpur and Sarkaghat). Only 13 seats were decided by a margin of over 10,000 votes.

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The difference in the vote share of winning and runner-up parties in the 2022 elections was recorded at the lowest level (0.9 per cent) since 1951. So far, 14 Assembly elections have taken place in the state from 1951 to 2022 and during this period, the maximum gap between the winning and runner-up parties was recorded at 45.49 per cent in the 1972 Assembly elections.

In the 1972 Assembly elections, Congress secured a vote share of 53.24 per cent, whereas its rival Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) got only 7.75 per cent votes. The remaining 39 per cent votes were bagged by other parties and Independent candidates. The highest vote share secured by a political party in Himachal Pradesh was in 1985 when Congress had bagged 55.46 per cent votes.

First published on: 09-12-2022 at 04:10 IST
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