Press Esc to close
Thursday 17 August 2017
News updated at 10:53 AM IST

Congress regains lost ground in HP

Shimla, Dec 20 , 2012, DHNS: 2:14 IST
Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Virbhadra Singh flashes victory sign after the party's win in Assembly polls, in Shimla on Thursday. PTI
The Congress avenged the drubbing in Gujarat by trouncing the BJP government in Himachal Pradesh. It romped home with 36 seats as against BJP’s 26. The party managed an absolute majority in a 68-member House.

Five seats went to independent candidates while Himachal Lokhit Party president Maheswar Singh, who quit the BJP to float the outfit, won the only seat for his party. In the previous Assembly elections in 2007, the Congress had won 23 seats and the BJP 41.

The voters in Himachal Pradesh stayed true to their anti-incumbency sentiments, as has been the case for the last three decades. The Congress’ unrelenting faith in septuagenarian Virbhadra Singh paid off well. Singh, a five-time chief minister, stayed out of active state politics after the BJP came to power in the state in 2007. He was brought in at the last minute to lead the campaign.

It now remains to be seen whether Singh, who won from Shimla (rural) by over 20,000 votes, assumes charge as the chief minister for the sixth time, despite corruption charges against him.

Rebels, internal wrangling and faulty distribution of party tickets apparently ruined the BJP’s winning chances. Four of the five independent candidates who won the election this time were former BJP men, while one defected from the Congress. Around 42 per cent of votes were polled in Congress’ favour and the BJP managed 39 per cent, while the independents, BSP, CPI, CPM and HLP scrambled for the rest, reports suggested.

Conceding defeat, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said: “I wish the Congress good luck. We need to analyse what went wrong.” Dhumal won from Hamirpur by 9,302 votes.
The election result proved that the BJP’s campaign, entirely focussed on “wrongdoings” of the UPA government at the Centre - price rise, inflation, cap on domestic LPG cylinders - and corruption charges against Virbhadra Singh, did not cut much ice with the electorate.

Kangra, the largest segment of the state that held the key to power with 15 seats, slipped out of the BJP’s grip, with the party winning only three seats in the region as against nine in the previous election.

The state unit of the Congress, which had its share of internal squabbling, now faces the tough task of appointing a chief minister. Virbhadra Singh is being viewed as a natural choice after steering the party to victory. However, his candidature is opposed by senior leaders like Kaul Singh Thakur. Besides, the octogenarian Vidya Stokes also nurtures chief ministerial ambitions.

“I had been tasked with bringing the party back to power, for which I had put in my best efforts. It is for Sonia Gandhi to decide who will become the chief minister,” Singh said.

Big losers and winners

The election results sprang up a few surprises. Senior leaders Virbhadra Singh, P K Dhumal, Vidya Stokes, Kaul Singh Thakur, Asha Kumari, Mukesh Agnihotri, Satpal Sati won, while Virbhadra’s bte noire, Major (retd) Vijay Singh Mankotia of the Congress, lost. Mankotia and Singh had filed cases against each other. Former Assembly speaker and minister G R Musafir of the Congress also lost.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A street memorial is lit during a candlelight vigil for Elvis Presley in front of Graceland...

A street memorial is lit during a candlelight vigil for Elvis Presley in front of Graceland...

Festival goers participate in a color party at the 25th Sziget (Island) Festival...

Festival goers participate in a color party at the 25th Sziget (Island) Festival...

Manchester City's Phil Foden, right, duels for the ball during the Costa Brava trophy friendly...

Manchester City's Phil Foden, right, duels for the ball during the Costa Brava trophy friendly...

A zoo keeper holding the 2.5-month old Borneo Orangutan baby 'Hujan' in her arms in Krefeld...

A zoo keeper holding the 2.5-month old Borneo Orangutan baby 'Hujan' in her arms in Krefeld...

Border Security Force (BSF) personnel wave the Tricolor and perform Bhangra as they...

Border Security Force (BSF) personnel wave the Tricolor and perform Bhangra as they...

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah...

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah...

A model walks the ramp during Lakme Fashion Week displaying Ritu Kumar's collection in Mumbai...

A model walks the ramp during Lakme Fashion Week displaying Ritu Kumar's collection in Mumbai...

: Flood-affected villagers commute to safer places using a boat at Morigaon district in Assam...

: Flood-affected villagers commute to safer places using a boat at Morigaon district in Assam...

Monkeys playing with a water pipe near Vijay Chowk in New Delhi on Wednesday

Monkeys playing with a water pipe near Vijay Chowk in New Delhi on Wednesday

Flamingoes preening in their enclosure at the zoo in Duisburg, Germany, 16 August 2017.

Flamingoes preening in their enclosure at the zoo in Duisburg, Germany, 16 August 2017.

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.