As chief minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal had inducted nine members in his cabinet on January 9, 2008. (PTI)
A firm believer in numerology, Himachal Pradesh BJP's chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal's favourite number 9 turned out to be unlucky this time.
The two-time Chief Minister has preferred number 9 for all important engagements throughout his political life.
Even all his official and personal cars bear the registration number 9. His personal mobile number also ends with the number 9.
"This time number nine didn't prove lucky for him as he faced defeat by 1,919 votes, which means the vote count ends with 9," a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader told IANS.
Voting for the 68-seat Assembly was held on November 9. At that time, he had announced that the day of polling would prove a blessing for him owing to his lucky day -- November 9.
In his previous stint as the Chief Minister, he had inducted nine members in his first cabinet on January 9, 2008.
The BJP wrested power in the state on Monday from the Congress, winning close to two-thirds majority with 44 seats in its kitty.
But Mr Dhumal and state party chief Satpal Satti faced humiliating defeats.
Congress candidate Rajinder Rana, who has learned political lessons for years from Mr Dhumal, defeated his once-mentor in a straight contest by 1,919 votes in Sujanpur; the seat Mr Dhumal was asked to contest from.
Mr Rana, a known social worker in the area, was once the "election manager" of Mr Dhumal and he knows his family well.
"In politics one faces defeat while another faces victory... It's time for introspection," an emotional Mr Dhumal told reporters in his hometown Hamirpur.
Mr Dhumal had swapped his present Hamirpur seat, the pocket borough of the BJP, with party legislator Narendra Thakur, who won the seat.