BJP-Congress Poised For A Cliff Hanger Electoral Count

Shimla: The Himachal election count is poised to be a nail biting Friday morning event and political parties have chalked out strategies to tackle the aftermath of the mandate delivered.

The Congress party that had earlier threatened to precipitate a constitutional crisis by continuing in office till the end of its term, has changed tack and come around to saying that the peoples mandate would be respected.

Confident of a win, chief minister Virbhadra Singh said “In case we do not get majority and are unable to form the government, which is unlikely, then the government will resign and respect the people’s mandate.”

Sensing the heat of incumbency, Singh told journalists in Kullu “six strong independents were in touch and ready to extend support to congress, if they win”

Jai Ram Thakur, BJP state president buoyant from the Gujarat win said that Prem Kumar Dhumal, the designated chief ministerial candidate of the party would be in Shimla for the electoral count.

“Should BJP come to power, our government will take oath on 30th December,” said Dhumal.

The state witnessed a 72.55 percent voter turnout with as many as 32,75,924 people out of a total electoral roll of 45,44,166 having cast their vote.

About 5,000 people backed by electronic engineers have been deputed to count votes at 41 centres across the state. The count begins early at 8 a.m. and the results are expected to out within three hours.

In the 2003 elections, Congress had won 43 seats and BJP had lost power by winning only 16. Nine seats went to independents and other parties.

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