Follow Us:



In Himachal polls, it’s BJP Vs Congress in a two-cornered contest

In the keen contest, either pro- or anti-incumbency factor will decide the fate of the traditional rivals.

Bhawani Negi | Shimla |


With the stage all set, elections for the 14th Legislative Assembly in Himachal Pradesh will be held on Saturday (12 November) and a close contest is on the cards between two traditional rivals BJP and Congress.

BJP’s aggressive campaign, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi banking on the double engine government at the centre, has hit upon a slogan of ‘Raj nahin, Rivaz badlega’ (tradition will change, not the ruling) to beat the anti-incumbency. They have projected CM Jai Ram Thakur as the next CM.

The party has played up on national security, Uniform Civil Code, Ram Temple issues and development.

The BJP pressed into service all its battery of star campaigners, leaving no stone unturned so as to retain the power in the state.

PM Modi addressed four election rallies, Union Home Minister Amit Shah 11 rallies, Union Minister Rajnath Singh and Samriti Irani five and 9 rallies respectively.

National BJP President J P Nadda who hails from the state stayed put in the state for a long time, addressing 20 gatherings, he also tried hard to mollify the rebels.

On the other hand, the opposition Congress, hopeful of a return of anti-incumbency, had to bank largely on AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi as their main star campaigner and the newly elected AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge.

Priyanka Gandhi addressed five rallies, while Kharge only one at Banuti in Shimla rural constituency in favour of sitting MLA Vikramaditya Singh son of former six-tme CM Virbhadra Singh and State Congress president Pratibha Singh.

Although Congress faced the problem of the absence of CM face, it set the ball rolling on local issues including Old Pension Scheme, a major issue that caught up in the state, unemployment, inflation, and farmer issues.

AAP had plunged into the electoral fray much ahead of both traditional parties to provide a third alternative. However, it lost steam towards the end of campaigning as their focus shifted to Gujarat assembly elections.

The party had campaigns led by CM Delhi Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Deputy CM Delhi Manish Sisodia and Punjab CM Bhagwant Singh Mann.

BJP and Congress are contesting all the 68 assembly seats, while AAP on 67 and CPI (M) is contesting 11 seats.

Star campaigner, CPI (M) Secretary General Sitaram Yechury addressed one rally at Shimla.

As the state goes to polls 55,92,828 voters will decide the fate of 412 candidates in the fray including 24 female and 388 male candidates. Of the total voters, 28,54,945 are male electors, 27,37,845 female, and 38 third gender voters.

A total of 7881 polling stations have been set up for the polls.

Bahujan Samajwadi Party on 53, Rashtriya Devbhoomi Party on 29, Himachal Jan Kranti Party 6, three each Hindu Samaj Party and Swabhiman Party and one each from Himachal Janata Party, Bhartiya Veer Dal, Sainik Samaj Party ,Rashtriya Lok Niti Party and  Communist Party of India.

The number of independent candidates is 99.

The maximum number of 11 candidates in the fray is from the Jogindernagar assembly constituency in Mandi district, while the minimum number of three candidates each in Churah assembly constituency of Chamba district, Lahaul-Spiti AC and Drang assembly constituency of Mandi district.

Col. Dhani Ram Shandil (82) of Congress from Solan Assembly Constituency is the eldest, while the youngest candidate is Piyush Kanga (26) is contesting from Bilaspur assembly constituency as an independent.