After Gujarat, BJP Sweeps Himachal

Shimla: Just five days after the Gujarat win, the BJP today swept to power by decisively defeating the congress by winning 41 seats in a house of 68 for the 11th state assembly election, the result for which was declared today.

With as many as five cabinet minister losing, the congress were able to win on 23 seats, where as the BSP which was hoping to hold the balance of power could come home with just one seat. On three seats independents were declared winners.

Of the 8 ministers, including the chief minister, who were in the electoral fray only 3 were able to retain their seats.

The five minister who lost were excise and taxation minister Rangila Ram Rao, forest minister Ram Lal Thakur, agriculture minister Raj Kishan Gaur, industry minister Kuldeep Kumar and health minister Sujjan Singh Pathania, all losing to BJP candidates.

Three ministers, the animal husbandary minister Harsh Mahajan, revenue minister Sat Mahajan and horticulture minister Singhi Ram did not contest the elections. While Harsh and Sat Mahajan opted not to contest, Singhi Ram was not given the ticket from the Rampur seat that he had won six times in a row.

Two ministers, other than the chief minister who won included power minister Vidya Stokes and Irrigation and Public Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur.

Important Winners

Besides BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal (BJP) from Bamsan, other important leaders who have won include speaker Gangu Ram Musaffir (Congress) from Pachhad, leader of opposition ID Dhiman (BJP) form Mewa, Jagat Prakash Nadda (BJP) from Bilaspur, Ravinder Ravi (BJP) from Thural, Kishan Kapoor (BJP) from Dharmashala, Narinder Bragta (BJP) from Jubbal-Kotkhai, Suresh Bhardwaj (BJP) from Shimla and GS Bali (Congress) from Nagrota Bhagwain.

Big losers

Among the big losers for the congress were the forest minister Ram Lal Thakur in Kot Kehloor, agriculture minister Raj Kishan Gaur in Kullu, excise and taxation minister Rangila Ram Rao in Gopalpur, health minister Sujjan Singh Pathania in Jwali and industry minister Kuldeep Kumar in Gagret. Besides the minister, Brij Bihari Butail, political advisor to chief minister and the richest candidate in the fray lost to Praveen Sharma of BJP in the Palampur seat.

Other prominent congress losers included sitting MLAs Lajja Ram in Doon , Raghu Raj in Kasauli, and Ishwar Dass in Ani.

Notable BJP losers included Shayma Sharma who lost to Kush Parmar of congress for the Nahan seat, former speaker Radha Rama Shastri lost of Subash Manglate for the Chopal seat, sitting BJP MLAs Karm Dev Dharmani lost to Rajesh Dharmani in Ghumarwin Harbans Rana to Neeraj Bharti of congress for the Guler seat and Bikram Singh to Nikhil Rajour of congress for the Jaswan seat

BSP Disappoints
With all the top guns of Bhaujan Samaj Party losing out in the electoral battle, the party’s hopes of expand its electoral base in the hill state stood dashed.

Vijay Singh Mankotia, the BSP’s chief ministerial candidate lost to BJP’s Kishan Kapoor in Dharmshala, Vijay Joshi lost to Virinder Kanwar in Kuthler, Kewal Singh deep Pathania lost to independent Rakesh Pathania in Nurpur, Karan Singh lost to Khimmi Ram in Banjar, and Dharmvir Dhammi lost to Govind Thakur for the Kullu seat.

However the party was able to open its account by winning the Kangra seat from where Sanjay Chaudhary defeated Surinder Kaku of the congress to win the sole seat for BSP in the state.

Sonia Gandhi’s cooks son loses in Arki

Having denied deputy speaker Dharmapal Thakur the congress ticket for Arki seat and giving it to Prakash Karad, whose father worked as a cook in the Gandhi household, did not cut with the voters.
Both Karad and Thakur, who contested the election as an independent lost the seat to BJP’s Gobind Ram.

On the Rampur seat where a ticket was denied to six time winner Singhi Ram, who is the horticulture minister in the outgoing government, and was replaced by Nand Lal, who was a former security incharge of 10 Janpath where party president Sonia Gandhi resides, won by 7,530 votes.

Electorate rejects royalty in HP elections

Barring chief minister Virbhadra Singh, no other candidate with a royal lineage was elected to the 11th state assembly for which results wre declared today.

Notable losers with royal lineage included Asha Kumari of congress in Banikhet, Chandresh Kumari of congress at Dharamshala, Karan Singh of BSP in Banjar and Vijay Singh Mankotia in Dhamrshala.

3 Independents win

Only three independents were able to win in this election. While Rakesh Verma an independent was able to retain his seat from Theog, Rakesh Pathania a BJP rebel from Nurpur won and Hira Lal an independent from Karsog has won for the first time.

BJP Sweeps Solan And Kullu District

BJP made a clean sweep, winning all five seats in Solan district and all 3 seats in Kullu district. In Mandi district the party won 6 seats where as the congress was able to win on three and one was won by an Independent.

Congress retains hold in Shimla and Sirmaur District

Congress was able to retain their hold in Shimla district winning 5 of the 8 seats in the district. In Sirmaur, the party won 4 of the 5 seats in the district.

Congress wins one seat in Hamirpur district

Faced with a BJP wave sweeping across Hamirpur, the congress was able to retain the Naduan seat as Sukhvinder Singh Sukku held onto the seat that he represented in the 10th assembly election.

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