The fate of 337 candidates, including chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his predecessor Prem Kumar Dhumal, will be known today as counting of votes for Himachal Pradesh election results will begin at 8 am. Traditional rivals Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress, which have been alternately forming the government in the state for close to three decades, have contested all 68 seats.
Himachal Pradesh witnessed a record 75.28% voter turnout in the 9 November election. Exit polls have predicted a BJP victory. Adequate security arrangements have been made for counting, which would start simultaneously in all 68 constituencies at 42 counting centres. The final seat tally will emerge as the day progresses.
Here are the latest updates and developments from Himachal elections results:
■ 8.30am: BJP ahead in 2 seats while Congress leading in 1, reports NDTV.
First lead: Congress takes the first lead in Himachal Pradesh, reports NDTV. Counting of votes underway.
8.10am: Postal ballots de-sealed by officials at a counting centre in Shimla’s Sanjauli, reports ANI.
■ 8.00 am: Counting of votes for Himachal election results begins in 42 counting centres.
■ 6.00 am: Counting of votes for Himachal election results to begin at 8 am in 42 counting centres.
BJP, Congress both claim victory in Himachal Pradesh elections
Shimla: Hours before the counting of votes, both ruling Congress and the BJP claimed victory in Himachal Pradesh elections. While the Congress dismissed the exit poll results, which predicted a BJP victory, the saffron party expressed confidence that their performance would better projections.
Chief minister Virbhadra Singh said the Himachal election results would be the opposite of exit polls. projections. “I am confident that ‘mission repeat’ would be achieved and tall claims made by the BJP would be proved wrong,” he told reporters. BJP’s Prem Kumar Dhumal, on the other hand, was highly optimistic and said the election results would be same as projected in the exit polls. Dhumal said the Congress was upset with the exit polls and was making vague statements. “In fact, the BJP would win more seats than projected in exit polls,” he said. Dhumal was declared BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for Himachal Pradesh towards the end of the election campaign.