SHIMLA: Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Rakesh Kumar won the Himachal Pradesh assembly election from the Sundernagar constituency on Thursday, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said.
According to the ECI, BJP's Rakesh Kumar won the seat with a total of 29432 votes. However, Congress Sohan Lal managed to gain 21307 votes while the independent candidate Abhishek Thakur could record 14704 votes by the time the counting of the votes in the constituency ended.
As per the latest trends by the ECI, the BJP is currently leading in 26 seats after registering victory in one of the 68 assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh. However, the competition still seems tough as Congress continues to lead in 38 seats.
Three assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh continue to be led by independent candidates. BJP's rebel Hiteshwar Singh who was earlier leading the Himachal assembly election as an independent candidate from Banjar is now trailing as Congress' Khimi Ram total votes so far were counted as 13273, followed by BJP's Surender Shourie's 12261 votes.
However, another BJP rebel candidate Hoshyar Singh from Dehra continues to lead the contest with 16390, followed by Congress candidate Dr Rajesh Sharma at 9381 and Ramesh Chand of BJP at 8198. Meanwhile, the BJP rebel KL Thakur is also leading in Nalagarh with 21715 votes.
As per the ECI, another Independent candidate from Hamirpur, Ashish Sharma is also leading in the Assembly constituency. "I'm awaiting the final results, and will take any decision (on extending support to another party) after the results are out", he said.
The Chief Minister of the state, Jai Ram Thakur is currently leading in Seraj 37227 votes while the Congress' Chet Ram votes are still in four-digits as he gained 9755 votes so far. BJP's Suresh Bharadwaj, who is also fighting the 'outsider' tag in Kasumpti is trailing with 15540 votes as Congress's Anirudh Singh is leading at the seat with 23136 votes.
The counting of votes for Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh began at 8 am on Thursday. In Himachal, there are 68 counting halls in 59 locations across the state.
The elections for 68 assembly seats in the state 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. Besides these three, parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Rashtriya Devbhumi Party (RDP) are also in the fray.
Both BJP and Congress have claimed victory in the state which has had a tradition of changing governments for the past several years. If BJP wins then it will beat the anti-incumbency and change the trend of the alternate government in the state.
Notably, in the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP formed the government by winning 44 seats while Congress secured 21 seats.