Shimla, December 09 (KMS): The Congress got an absolute majority in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, winning 40 seats in the 68-member House, while the BJP was reduced to 25.
Acknowledging the adverse mandate, outgoing Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Jai Ram Thakur, submitted his resignation to the Governor, who accepted it.
Many of the outgoing ministers, including Suresh Bhardwaj, Ram Lal Markanda, Sarveen Chaudhary, Rakesh Pathania, Govind Thakur, Virender Kanwar, and Rajiv Saizal, lost the election.
Three Independents, including two BJP rebels and one Congress, emerged victorious.
Himachal Pradesh has not voted any incumbent government back to power since 1985.
Prominent victorious Congress leaders included journalist-turned-politician and prospective Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri, 60, from Haroli – for the fourth time, former state party chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, 58, from Nadaun, the seat he is representing fourth time in Hamirpur district, former Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma from Dharamsala, Rajinder Singh Rana from Sujanpur, Col. Dhani Ram Shandil, 82, from Solan, and second-time lawmaker Vikramaditya Singh, son of six-time Chief Minister late Virbhadra Singh.
Six-time Congress MLA Asha Kumari lost her stronghold Dalhousie from her nearest rival and BJP candidate D.S. Thakur by a margin of 9,918 votes. Asha Kumari was among the Chief Ministerial probables.
In the 2017 assembly elections, the BJP had won 44 seats and the Congress 21, with one seat going to Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), and two to Independent candidates.