The BJP was set to wrest power in Himachal Pradesh, winning 21 seats and leading in more than 15 as counting progressed in the state Assembly elections. However, the state party chief faced a humiliating defeat in his constituency, while BJP Chief Ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal is trailing with a huge margin. FULL COVERAGE ON HIMACHAL PRADESH ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS 2017
The ruling Congress has managed to win 10 seats so far, with its Chief Ministerial candidate and sitting incumbent Virbhadra Singh winning with a handsome margin from Arki.
The Bharatiya Janata Party needs 35 seats to control the Himachal Assembly.
His son Vikramaditya Singh also marked his maiden victory in the assembly with a comfortable margin from Shimla (Rural), the seat his father was earlier representing.
The BJP's state chief Satpal Satti faced a humiliating defeat in Una from the Congress' Satpal Singh Razda.
BJP Chief Ministerial candidate Dhumal was trailing with a huge margin against his close rival Rajinder Rana of the Congress from Sujanpur.
Dhumal's close confidants Ravinder Ravi, Gulab Singh and Randhir Sharma, all sitting legislators, and Tejwant Negi, lost.
Congress cabinet ministers Sudhir Sharma, Thakur Singh and Prakash Chaudhary faced defeat from the BJP.
As it happened:
5;55 pm: Declared results (44 seats): BJP - 27; Congress - 15; Others - 2
5:22 pm: It's a symbol of people's confidence in Congress. Thankful that they made me victorious. We have never stepped back from serving people in Sujanpur & we will always serve them: Rajinder Rana, Congress candidate who won in Sujanpur against BJP's Prem Kumar Dhumal
5:18 pm: Declared results (38 seats): BJP - 23; Congress - 13; Others - 2
5:00 pm: I'll always stand with govt, whichever party it might be of, & serve people. As a son I am sad we couldn't make it possible for him (Virbhadra Singh) to become the CM 7th time. We'll analyse our drawbacks in meeting: Vikramaditya Singh, leading in Shimla Rural
4:50 pm: Personal loss is not of much importance.The gain that victory has brought to state BJP is important. Thankful to people of the state for voting for BJP. In politics, sometimes one wins, sometimes one loses. I was not expecting to lose, I will do an analysis: PK Dhumal
4:20 pm: We are confident that when we go into 2019 elections under the leadership of PM Modi we will once again get people's support and Modi ji's aim for the youth in 2022 will become a reality: Amit Shah, BJP President
4:18 pm: I am confident that we will again be victorious in the next elections and that the people will again give us a chance to serve them: Shah, BJP
4:18 pm: PM Modi came up with plans and agendas to serve the people of the country and this has been successful, I am thankful to everyone for having faith is us: Shah, BJP
4:18 pm: We have now reached to 19 having state governments across the country and we will continue to serve the people: Shah, BJP
4:17 pm: Congress made an attempt to fight elections through outsourcing and they have failed in their attempt: Shah, BJP
4:17 pm: Opposition said that the people of the nation are unhappy with the economic reforms undertaken by the Centre, but the victory has proved that people have accepted the decision of PM Modi: Shah, BJP
4:16 pm: The 2/3rd lead in Himachal Pradesh shows that people there want to join PM Narendra Modi in the journey to development: Amit Shah, BJP President
4:15 pm: BJP has won 2/3 majority in Himachal. Our vote share has increased by 10 per cent: Amit Shah, BJP president
4:12 pm: We have once again emerged triumphant. I offer heartfelt gratitude to the people of Gujarat and Hiamchal Pradesh that they gave us anther opportunity to serve them: Amit Shah
4:12 pm: This is a victory of development over dynasty and polarisation: Amit Shah, BJP President
4:11 pm: Congress had a very good campaign in Gujarat, Rahul ji's campaign reminded us of Indira ji: Ashok Gehlot,Congress
4:10 pm: We have once again emerged triumphant. I offer heartfelt gratitude to the people of Gujarat and Hiamchal Pradesh that they gave us anther opportunity to serve them: Amit Shah
04:00 pm: Victory in Gujarat & Himachal shows people have once again accepted PM Modi, his policies & Gujarat model. They've voted for development & against corrupt Congress. It'll have positive impact in Karnataka: BS Yeddyurappa, Karnataka BJP President
3:55 pm: I accept the victory of BJP. I, being the CM, take full responsibility of our performance here. I hope Vikramaditya (Singh) keeps winning in future, like he won today: Virbhadra Singh
3:34 pm: BJP meet at 6 pm to decide CM candidate after Dhumal loses in Sujanpur. Union Minister JP Nadda emerges as favourite.
3:30 pm: PM Modi tweeted: "Election results in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh indicate a strong support for politics of good governance and development. I salute the hardworking BJP Karyakartas in these states for their hardwork which has led to these impressive victories.
"I bow to the people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh for their affection and trust in BJP. I assure them that we will leave no stone unturned in furthering the development journey of these states and serve the people tirelessly."
Thank you Himachal. pic.twitter.com/QYtl9x0qRf— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) December 18, 2017
2:35 pm: Jo jeeta wohi Sikandar (whoever wins is king). This is the message to those who joked about vikas (development): Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
2:23 pm: BJP's poll performance a victory of PM's policies: UP CM
2:10 pm: PM Modi to be given credit for BJP's victory, says Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Thanks to guj Janata n all the committed n devoted Karyakarta of BJP.— Paresh Rawal (@SirPareshRawal) December 18, 2017
2:00 pm: Undoubtedly, a major victory. The kind of work which Party workers have done right from booth workers level till PM's level, everybody put their best foot forward and both Gujarat & Himachal Pradesh have recognised the good work going on in the name of development: N Sitharaman
1:45 pm: BJP wins Himachal, party workers dance to drum beats, burst firecrackers, shout slogans hailing PM
#Delhi: Union Minister #RajnathSingh flashes victory sign outside Parliament as trends indicate #BJP's victory in both #Gujarat & #HimachalPradesh #GujaratVerdict #HimachalPradeshElections2017 pic.twitter.com/YCkHfsnUvo— India TV (@indiatvnews) December 18, 2017
1:30 pm: It's a matter of happiness for us. This is the victory of development, says Smriti Irani.
1:15 pm: The ruling Congress managed to win only one seat, while one each went to an Independent and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM).
1:00 pm: BJP CM Candidate PK Dhumal loses Sujanpur seat to former protege (Read full story here)
12:45 pm: BJP leading on 43 seats, Congress on 23 seats, others 2
12:11 pm: BJP CM candidate PK Dhumal again trails by 2100 votes
11:58 am: With Himachal lost, Congress has been reduced to 5 state governments. The party will head into the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with governments in Karnataka, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Pondicherry.
11:50 am: BJP lead on 45 seats, Congress ahead on 20
11:30 am: BJP gets a vote share of 48.6 per cent, a hike of 10 per cent from last time, while Congress goes down by 1 per cent to 41.5 per cent (Read full story here)
11:20 am:BJP CM Candidate PK Dhumal regains lead in Sujanpur
11:15 am: BJP's Inder Singh Gandhi defeated Chaudhary from Balh in Mandi district with a big margin. The party won by defeating Congress cabinet Minister Prakash Chaudhary on Monday.
11:15 am: BJP's Naveen Dhiman has won from Jaisinghpur
11:09 am: BJP leading on 42 seats (1 won), Congress ahead on 21, others 4
10:58 am: BJP president Amit Shah to address media persons at 2 pm
10:57 am: Sonia Gandhi arrives to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi at his residence
10:56 am: BJP leading on 40 seats (1 won), Congress ahead on 24, others 3
10:48 am: Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in the Parliament, flashes victory sign
10:44 am: The results and trends are as per our expectations, we are forming government in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh: Rajnath Singh
10:37 am: First result in, BJP wins from Kangra seat. Winning majority in Kangra is crucial for BJP as the district holds the key to swing voters. Kangra had been the focal point of BJP’s election campaign in the State with all factional leaders, including former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar (Kangra MP) from the region throwing their weight behind party’s candidates in the region.
10:32 am: All 68 trends in, BJP leads on 41 seats, Congress ahead on 22, others on 5
10:29 am: "I am sure in the end Congress will be victorious and form government in the state" says Vikramaditya Singh, contesting from Shimla Rural
10:27 am: Congress ahead on 22 seats, BJP leading on 40 (trends)
10:21 am: BJP maintains lead on 38 seats, Congress on 24
10:09 am: We are already leading ahead in trends and we will emerge victorious in the final results. PM has won a number of elections through thorough campaigning and the same will be witnessed by the end of vote counting: Sambit Patra to India TV
10:12 am: PK Dhumal trailing in his constituency. He was declared CM candidate by BJP against the party protocol.
10:06 am: Congress' lead drops to 21 seats, BJP maintains edge in 40 seats, Others 7
10:03 am: BJP takes lead on 40 seats, Congress ahead on 22, Others 4
10:00 am: BJP's Anil Sharma, Satpal Singh Satti are trrailing, while Prem Kumar Dhumal, Narinder Bragta and Narendra Thakur are leading currently
10:00 am: Congress' Champa Thakur, Vikramaditya Singh and Virbhadra Singh are leading and Kaul Singh Thakur, GS Bali are trailing at the moment
9:58 am: Prem Kumar Dhumal takes back the lead
9:54 am: BJP ahead on 38 seats, Congress 24, Others 4
9:52 am: BJP's CM candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal is trailing in his constituency, even as the party is leading in 38 others
9:45 am: BJP crosses halfway mark, takes lead on 40 seats, Congress ahead on 22 seats, others on 4
9:40 am: 55 trends in, BJP ahead on 33 seats, Congress on 19, others 3
9:35 am: In first 54 trends, BJP ahead on 33 seats, Congress on 19, others 2
9:33 am: Gap widens again, BJP leading on 33 seats, Congress on 18
9:19 am: BJP retakes lead, edges ahead on 26 seats, Congress leading in 21 seats
9:13 am: BJP retakes lead, edges ahead on 25 seats, Congress leading in 22 seats
9:12 am: Congress, BJP entangled in close battle
9:07 am: A reminder of 2012 polls, the competition between BJP and Congress becomes edge to edge
9:04 am: Congress makes a comeback, leading on 22, BJP on 21
8:56 am: BJP maintains comfortable lead
8:44 am: BJP zooms ahead in early trends, leading on 32 seats, Congress ahead on 10 seats, others on 1
8:40 am: Counting of postal ballots ends, EVMs opened in counting booth at Shimla
8:37 am: BJP maintains lead on 17 seats, Congress ahead on 7
8:30 am: 30 mins in, Congress leading on 6 seats, BJP on 15
8:26 am: Early trends mimic exit polls, BJP ahead on 13, Congress only 6
8:25 am: Early 16 trends give BJP lead on 11 seats, Congress on 5
8:23 am: BJP leading on 9 seats, Congress on 4 seat
8:20 am: "I assure you that there can be no tampering with the EVMs" says Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) AK Joti
8:19 am: First 11 trends give BJP edge on 8 seats, Congress ahead on 3
8:16 am: BJP ahead on 7 seats, Congress gaining majority only on 2 seats
8:13 am: Early postal ballet trends put BJP ahead on 5 seats, Congress on 1
8:12 am: BJP gains edge in 3 seats, Congress yet to open account
8:10 am: Early trends in, BJP leading on 2 seat
8:00 am: Counting of votes begins for 68 assembly seats of Himachal Pradesh Assembly
7:00 am: Himachal Pradesh had recorded highest ever voting of 74.61 per cent in this election, giving further strength to likeliness of anti-incumbency factor.
6:40 am: The counting of votes will begin shortly
6:35 am: To allay Congress' fears of EVM tampering, the Election Commission has provided for a three-tier security arrangements. The mobile phone are completly banned form the booths and all counting stations are being monitored with web-casting, video-graphing and CCTVs.
6:30 am: Ahead of poll results, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh dismissed the exit poll results, saying he could well read the mood of the people of the state and the actual results would be opposite to the exit poll projections.
6:25 am: Congress candidate Singh took out 93 rallies in every nook and corner of the state during the election campaign and has no doubt the Congress was in a strong position.
6:20 am: Talking to reporters at his Samirpur residence, BJP candidate Dhumal said his party would win more seats than projected in exit-polls," he said.
6:15 am: The exit polls have given an overwhleming majority to BJP in the poll results. In an assembly of 68 seats, the polls by various media houses predicted that Congress would get minimum 6 seats (News24) and maximum 29 (ABP). In the 2012 polls in Himachal, the Congress had won 36 and the BJP 26 seats. India Today-Axis My India survey gave BJP a highest of possible 55 seat share.