Himachal Pradesh Results 2017: PK Dhumal, the state’s two-time Chief Minister who is contesting from Sujanpur, is trailing Congress’s Rajendra Singh Rana.
SHIMLA: The BJP appears set to win the elections in Himachal Pradesh, but its chief ministerial candidate PK Dhumal, is still trailing his Congress opponent. Mr Dhumal, who is contesting from Sujanpur, is now behind by more than 3,000 votes.
His key opponent is Congress’s Rajendra Singh Rana, who is also the incumbent. The two were seen as close before Mr Rana changed camp in 2012. Mr Rana went on to win the 2012 elections from here on a Congress ticket, but lost when he stood for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which the BJP had swept.
Sujanpur is very close to Hamirpur — Mr Dhumal’s hometown from where his son Anurag Thakur is a parliamentarian — and his being named as the Chief Ministerial candidate was seen as giving the BJP an edge in the constituency.
Earlier today, Mr Thakur had predicted a “landslide victory” for the BJP in the state.
Mr Dhumal, a former Chief Minister of the state, was named the man for the top job only a week before the November 9 elections. The announcement came after Congress taunts that the party did not have a credible face to pitch against Virbhadra Singh, the Congress stalwart in the state. Till then, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was leading the campaign in the state in keeping with the BJP strategy.
The 73-year-old BJP leader is seen as the alternative to Mr Singh in the state, which swings between the Congress and the BJP every five years. Mr Dhumal and Mr Singh have alternately held the state’s top job.
This time, the BJP has built its campaign around the allegations of corruption against the Chief Minister. The party is currently leading in the state in more than 40 seats, the Congress is trailing with less than 20 seats.