Himachal Pradesh: Assembly elections

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Voter turnout

1951-2017

Voter turnout in assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, 1951-2017
From November 10, 2017: The Times of India

See graphic:

Voter turnout in assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, 1951-2017


2003, 2007, 2012, 2017: performance of BJP and Congress

Voting pattern India Today
The performance of the BJP and Congress in the elections of 2003, 2007, 2012, 2017
From: Anand Bodh, BJP Wins War, But Loses Generals In HP, December 19, 2017: The Times of India

See graphic:

The performance of the BJP and Congress in the elections of 2003, 2007, 2012, 2017

2017

BJP wins 44/ 68 seats; increases vote share, 38.7% (2012)> 48.7% (2017)

Anand Bodh, BJP Wins War, But Loses Generals In HP, December 19, 2017: The Times of India

The Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections of 2017: some numbers
From: December 19, 2017: The Times of India

See graphic:

The Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections of 2017: some numbers


Debate Over Why Dhumal Was Asked To Change Seat

Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh on Monday threw up the most unexpected result. Voters gave BJP a huge victory, but rejected the saffron party’s entire top leadership, including the chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal.

Riding a wave of anti-incumbency against Congress, BJP won 44 of the 68 seats in the assembly and even increased its vote share substantially, from 38.7% in 2012 to 48.7% in 2017, making the loss of its top leaders even more shocking.

Congress mustered only 21seats, even as its vote share fell from 42.8% in 2012 to 41.8% this time.

But at the end of the day, there was no one in BJP who could automatically become CM, with Dhumal and a slew of other senior leaders losing their seats. Among the top BJP leaders who lost are state party chief Satpal Singh Satti from Una, former minister Ravinder Singh Ravi from Dehra, former minister Gulab Singh Thakur (father-inlaw of Hamirpur BJP MP Anurag Thakur) from Jogindernagar, Indu Goswami from Palampur and Randhir Sharma from Naina Devi.

Many of these would have been in reckoning for a cabinet berth in the new government had they won.

After a meeting of its parliamentary board, BJP announced that Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union minister for rural development Narendra Tomar would visit the state and talk to leaders before a CM is announced.

There is already a debate within BJP on why Dhumal was asked to change his seat from Hamirpur to Sujanpur if he was the chief ministerial face. Many felt he should have been kept in his comfort zone and allowed to take over the leadership of the state.

Accepting defeat, Dhumal said, “I blame no one. These things keep happening in politics. I am truly pleased BJP has come back to power in Himachal.”

Outgoing CM Virbhadra Singh, who won his seat of Arki, said he would keep working for Congress.

“We did not have the necessary resources to meet this tough challenge,” he said after the defeat.

In Palampur, BJP candidate Indu Goswami’s defeat left many surprised as PM Narendra Modi had held a rally there. When the BJP high command decided to field Goswami from Palampur, the same was opposed by former MLA Praveen Sharma, a loyalist of senior partyman Shanta Kumar.

In Congress too, many senior leaders lost. Veteran leader and health minister Kaul Singh Thakur lost from Darang in Mandi, while his daughter Champa Thakur, contesting for the first time from Mandi, lost to BJP’s Anil Sharma, son of former Union minister Sukh Ram.

Excise minister Prakash Chaudhary lost the election from Balh seat of Mandi, forest minister Thakur Singh Bharmauri lost from Bharmaur seat of Chamba district, urban development minister Sudhir Sharma lost from Dharamshala and transport minister G S Bali lost from Nagrota seat.

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