Outgoing Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur lost power to Congress, but not without setting a new record in winning his assembly seat with a margin from his nearest rival which happens to be the highest in the electoral history of Himachal Pradesh.
In the just concluded assembly elections in the state, Congress returned to power with 40 seats in a House of 68 assembly segments reducing the ruling BJP to 25 seats.
The highlight margin of the votes scored by the winning candidates in the election results was that of Thakur with which he won from Seraj constituency in the Mandi district for the sixth time. He defeated Chet Ram of the Congress by a margin of 38,183, which was 54 percent of the valid votes. Thakur polled 53,562 votes which was 75.7 per cent of the total votes while Chet Ram could be able to bag 15,379 votes.
“Before me, there were five CMs, but none had won an election with such a huge victory margin. I am grateful to the people of Seraj for extending such a huge support to me, despite the fact that I couldn’t devote much time for campaigning,” said Thakur, while interacting with media persons.
The previous record of the highest victory margin was that of Congress’ Mohan Lal Brakta who had defeated BJP’s Balak Ram Negi from Rohru (SC) by a margin of 28,415 votes in 2012 state polls, which was 63.52 per cent of the total valid votes.
He had polled 34,465 votes which was 77.04 per cent of the total valid votes. Negi could muster 6,050 votes.
Former CM Virbhadra Singh had defeated BJP’s Kushi Ram in Rohru in 1998 assembly polls by a margin of 26,148 votes, which was 62.9 per cent of the valid votes. However, Congress was voted out of power in the polls.
In 2007 polls, former CM and BJP veteran Prem Kumar Dhumal had defeated Col. Bidhi Chand by a margin of 26,007 votes from Bamsan, which was 56.57 per cent of the valid votes. That year, Dhumal had returned to power for the second time.
In the 1990 polls, Virbhadra Singh had defeated his nearest rival Satya Dev Bushehari of Janta Dal in Rohru (SC) by 24,626 votes, which was 79.46 percent of the valid votes. That year, the Congress was routed and had bagged just nine seats.