Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh won from Arki constituency, even as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to form government in the hill state, as per trends by Election Commission of India (ECI).

The Bharatiya Janata Party needs 35 seats to control the Himachal Assembly. Needing 35 seats to control the 68-member House, the Bharatiya Janata Party was on course to win 44 the Congress had bagged 11 seats and led in 10 others. An Independent and the CPI-M got one seat each.

The saffron party won its first seat by defeating Congress cabinet Minister Prakash Chaudhary from Balh in Mandi district with a big margin. BJP’s Inder Singh Gandhi won this seat.

Likewise, BJP’s Ravindra Dhiman defeated Congress’ sitting legislator Yadvinder Goma from Jaisinghpur, Kishori Lal of the BJP defeated Bansi Lal of the Congress from the Anni seat.

BJP’s sitting legislator Suresh Bhardwaj retained his Shimla seat. He defeated Congress’ Harbhajan Bhajji.

BJP and Congress veterans Ravinder Ravi and Viplove Thakur, respectively, faced humiliating defeat from Independent Hoshiar Singh from Dehra.

Congress’ sitting legislator Anirudh Singh retained his Kasumpti seat by defeating BJP’s Vijay Jyoti Sain. Both belong to the royal families.

CPI-M’s Rakesh Singha defeated his near rival Rakesh Verma of the BJP from Theog.

ECI official trends for Himachal Pradesh has BJP leading on 41, Congress ahead on 20, Others 3.

Congress:

According to media reports, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is leading by 3204 votes in Arki constituency.

Arki, Virbhadra Singh, Himachal Pradesh Assembly election
ECI data

Himachal Chief Minister (CM)Virbhadra Singh’s son Vikramaditya is leading by 1300 votes in Shimla Rural constituency.

Congress leader GS Bali is leading by 141 votes. The party is leading on all seats in Solan district.

Himachal Pradesh Congress Chief, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, is leading by over 3000 votes from Nadaun constituency.

Bharatiya Janata Party:

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal is now trailing by 1371 votes from Sujanpur constituency.

Sujanpur, Dhumal, Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections
ECI data

Dhumal, 73, was elected as a Lok Sabha member for the first time in 1989 and has been BJP’s face in Himachal for two decades.

BJP Himachal chief Satpal Singh Satti is also trailing by 481 votes from Una constituency.

In Himachal Pradesh, all the 68 Assembly seats went to the polls on 9 November to decide the fate of 337 candidates including Chief Ministerial nominees Virbhadra Singh (Congress) and Prem Kumar Dhumal (Bharatiya Janata Party).

A total of 37,83,580 people voted — a record 75.28 per cent polling.

Earlier, various exit polls by news agencies had indicated the BJP’s return to power with an absolute majority, political observers said it was a neck-and-neck contest between the Congress and the BJP.

The state has alternately elected Congress and BJP governments since 1985. In 2012, the Congress won 36 seats and the BJP 26. Independents won six seats.

(With agency inputs)