Amid the high-stake electoral contest for the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, the early election result trends on December 8 showed that the State was heading for a clear mandate in favour of the Congress party.
The ruling Bharatiya Janta Party looks to be on its way out from the power as it could fall well below the majority seat mark. In the past three decades, Himachal has seen a bipolar electoral system with the Congress and the BJP alternately forming the governments and this time yet again the change looks imminent.
In Himachal Pradesh, 35 is the majority-seat mark and any party or alliance shall require these many seats to stake a claim in the State to form the government.
According to the Election Commission’s result trends, at 11:45 a.m., the Congress was leading in 38 assembly constituencies, while BJP was leading in 27 seats. The Independents were leading in 3 assembly constituencies. In 2017, the BJP won 44 seats, Congress 21, the CPI(M) one and two seats were won by the Independents.
Himachal Pradesh saw a direct contest between traditional rivals – the BJP and the Congress. The BJP was trying hard to defend its turf, and the Congress emerged as the main challenger, even as the newcomer the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also trying its luck in the electoral battle, but without any success. The trends show that AAP was unlikely to win even a single seat in the State.
Himachal Pradesh witnessed a high-pitched campaign from political heavyweights like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal among others.
In Himachal Pradesh, 412 candidates were in the fray out of which 24 were women, voting for which was held on November 11. Himachal saw a voter turnout of around 76%. In year 2017, the voter turnout was 75.57%.