Himachal Pradesh Assembly Polls: Both the Congress and BJP are contesting all 68 seats
New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh recorded a 74 per cent voter turnout in assembly elections, marginally higher than the 73.5 per cent last time, the Election Commission said on Thursday evening, adding that the figure could go up. This is the highest figure in four decades. As voting ended, the hashtag #Congress10seKam (Congress will get less than 10 seats) trended on Twitter. The BJP has claimed it is set for a massive sweep of the state. "BJP will form government with a thumping majority," the party's chief ministerial candidate PK Dhumal told NDTV.
Here are the top 10 developments in Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections 2017
- "I've had many innings," said the Congress' Virbhadra Singh, 83, who has announced that this is the last election he is contesting. He asserted that the Congress will win the hill state again.
- Himachal Pradesh has 68 assembly seats. To win a party needs a majority at a minimum 35 seats. Results of today's election will be announced on December 18, along with those for Gujarat, which votes next month.
- The BJP changed the strategy it has used over the last few state elections of not projecting anyone for chief minister and seeking votes in the name of PM Narendra Modi and his development agenda, by announcing that PK Dhumal is its presumptive chief minister.
- "Development, development, development", said BJP lawmaker and Mr Dhumal's son Anurag Thakur, stressing that good governance was the only major issue in today's election.
- The BJP built its Himachal Pradesh campaign around the corruption charges that Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh faces. The Congress attacked the BJP over demonetisation and new national tax GST.
- With the Congress' resources and attention focused on Gujarat, Virbhadra Singh had limited help from his party and alone addressed about 90 rallies. A fund crunch meant he could not afford choppers and toured the state in a car.
- Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was in Himachal for only one day and addressed three rallies. The BJP had a star-studded campaign with PM Modi addressing seven rallies and party chief Amit Shah addressing six.
- This is the first time Himachal Pradesh is voting with VVPAT or voter-verifiable paper audit trail machines that produce a slip confirming the vote were used for the first time in the state.
- In a first, 50,000 ethnic Tibetans have been given voting rights after the Supreme Court's order of 2014. Tibetans born in India between 1950-1987 voted for the first time in Himachal Pradesh today.
- Both the Congress and BJP contested all 68 seats, while Mayawati's BSP is contesting 42 seats. In 2012, the Congress had won 36 seats and currently holds 35. The BJP had won 26 seats five years ago and now has 28 MLAs.
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