Counting trends on Thursday suggest it won't be an easy contest between BJP and Congress in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh.
Congress was leading in 37 seats, which is more than the halfway mark in the 68-member Himachal assembly. BJP is not far behind with leads in 28 seats. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur won comfortably from Seraj constituency. Of the total 15 seats of Kangra district, Congress is leading on 9 seats while BJP on 6 seats.
The elections to 68 assembly seats of Himachal Pradesh were held on November 12 and around 75.6 per cent polling percentage was recorded. The hill State witnessed an intense campaign with BJP trying to return to power for a second consecutive term and Congress backing on its '10 guarantees' that the party listed out in its manifesto to take them home. The emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party as the third major political force in the state has intensified the electoral battle.
While most exit polls predicted that BJP will likely retain Himachal Pradesh, one exit poll predicted Congress to lead in the sweepstakes to form government in the hill state. Notably, in the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP formed the government by winning 44 seats while Congress secured 21 seats.
- BJP minister Rakesh Pathania is trailing by 2,667 votes on Fatehpur assembly seat of Kangra district.
- Candidates who are leading include CM Jai Ram Thakur from Seraj, BJP's Puran Chand from Darang, Chetan Bragata, son of former minister Narender Bragata, from Jubbal Kotkhai, Anil Sharma, son of former Union minister Sukhram, from Mandi Sadar and Congress' Jagat Singh Negi, a former deputy speaker, from Kinnaur.
- Of the total 15 seats of Kangra district, Congress is leading on 9 seats while BJP on 6 seats
- Former Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Kuldeep Rathore is leading from Theog assembly seat in Shimla district with a narrow margin of 67 votes
- BJP's Rakesh Jamwal wins Sundernagar seat by margin of over 8,000 votes
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