Cong wrests Himachal from BJP

SHIMLA, 8 Dec: The Congress on Thursday wrested Himachal Pradesh from the BJP as it crossed the majority mark of 35 seats in the 68-member assembly in the hill state which maintained its tradition of not voting any incumbent government to power since 1985.

In the latest results and trends available, the Congress won 39 seats and was leading in one, while the BJP registered a win in 18 seats and was leading in seven others. Three independents also emerged victorious.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which had contested in 67 seats, failed to open its account.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi thanked the people of Himachal Pradesh for the “decisive win” of his party and assured them that every promise made by the party would be fulfilled.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has submitted his resignation to the governor, who accepted it, official sources said.

The Congress had promised to bring back the old pension scheme and provide jobs to the youths, among other things, in its campaign in the hill state.

For the Congress, a victory in Himachal Pradesh is much needed for a revival as it has been battered by a spate of electoral losses in the last few years.

AICC in charge of Himachal Pradesh Rajeev Shukla said that the party is happy that it is getting an opportunity to form the government in the state, and asserted that it would do everything to fulfil the 10 guarantees made to the people of the state.

The BJP and the Congress contested in all 68 constituencies, while the AAP fielded candidates in 67 seats, the Bahujan Samaj Party in 53, and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in 11 seats. (PTI)