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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

BJP sweeps Himachal Pradesh

Gaurav Bisht, Hindustan Times  Shimla, May 17, 2014
First Published: 12:18 IST(17/5/2014) | Last Updated: 12:21 IST(17/5/2014)

As the Narendra Modi wave swept across the country, Congress suffered a crushing defeat in the tiny hill state — Himachal Pradesh — and Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party failed to make in impression among the electorates.

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The Bharatiya Janata Party candidates won resoundingly the Kangra, Hamirpur and Shimla seats. In spite, the government putting all its might to retain the Mandi seat, Congress suffered a miserable defeat from there, in contrast to what the post-poll surveys had predicted. 

Chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s wife and sitting MP  Pratibha Singh lost to BJP’s first-timer Ram Swaroop Sharma by a margin of 39,796 votes. Pratibha had won the Mandi by-election last year by a over 1.36 lakh votes.  Before taking over the reins of the state, Mandi was represented by chief minister Virbhadra Singh. 

BJP stalwart and former Union minister Shanta Kumar, who fought his last elections won with a record margin of 1,70,072 votes. Shanta secured 4,56,163 votes against 2,86,091 votes of Congress candidate Chander Kumar.

In 2004, Chander Kumar had defeated Shanta Kumar by over a margin of 17,791. Lok Sabha member and AAP candidate Rajan Sushant got only 24,430 votes.

Shimla, known for its loyalty to the Congress, this time, voted for the BJP.  Virbhadra’s handpicked candidate,  Congress legislator from Rohru, Mohan Lal Brakta, suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of  BJP’s sitting Lok Sabha member Virender Kashyap, who secured 3,85,973 votes.

What shocked the political circles is the vote tally of AAP’s candidate Subhash Chander, who managed to get more votes than left trade union leader and candidate Jagat Ram.  Left has its own cadres in Shimla district.

Congress once again failed to make way through long held bastion of BJP in Hamirpur.  National Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha chief Anurag Thakur not only proved the poll pundits wrong, but won convincingly for third consecutive term.

Poll pundits and the surveys had been predicting a keen contest in Hamirpur. Anurag defeated Congress’ Rajinder Rana by over 98,000 votes. Kargil martyr Param Veer Chakra recipient Vikram Batra’s mother Kamla Kanta got 15,329 votes.

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