BJP today termed its "historic win" in Rohroo, which it wrested from Congress after 35 years, as a reflection of people's approval of the state government's performance while the Opposition alleged "misuse of state machinery and money power".
BJP's Khushiram Balnatah defeated his Congress rival Manjit Singh Thakur in Rohroo, considered a pocket borough of Union Steel Minister Vibhadra Singh who represented the constituency for 19 years before moving to Delhi, by a margin of 8473 votes.
Chief Minister Dhumal said in a statement that the mandate for BJP in Rohroo, a Congress bastion from where only once a non-Congress candidate (from Janata Dal) had won in 1977, showed that people ultimately realised it was his party which could safeguard their interests.
"It was a vote for progressive and developmental policies of the nearly two-year old government," he said.
Meanwhile, Vibhadra Singh attributed BJP's victory to "misuse of state machinery and money power".
Rohroo located in rural Shimla includes Singh's erstwhile Bushare royalty. The seat has been reserved from the next election on the recommendations of the delimitation committee.
"It is unfortunate that the Congress lost Rohroo, a seat that has been with me for the last five terms," Virbhadra Singh said in a statement here and alleged that the BJP government broke all rules of electoral ethics to capture the constituency.