Himachal Pradesh Elections : 10 things to know about politics in the hill state

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Kunwar Prithvi Singh Chauhan
Part time journalist, full-time observer. Editor-in-Chief at The Indian Wire. I cover updates related to business and startups.

Himachal Pradesh has started voting for a new government. Off late, the state has maintained its legacy of not giving a repetitive chance to the outgoing government. The same very fact makes BJP hopeful of a victory in the state after losing heavily in the neighbouring state of Punjab. At the same time, Congress has also maintained its confidence and will be looking to grab the complete majority second time in a row.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh would be eying his seventh tenure as the chief minister, whereas, BJP’s Prem Kumar Dhumal would also be looking to revive his political career or to set up a base for his son, Anurag Thakur in the state politics.

As the state votes, here we bring 10 facts about the current elections and the state politics as it is today

  1. Virbhadra Singh, 83, will be eying his eighth assembly win and the seventh stint as a chief minister. On the other hand, Prem Kumar Dhumal, 73, will be targetting his 3rd term as the chief minister. Dhumal has earlier completed 2 full stints as chief minister of the state.
  2. 68 member Himachal Pradesh Assembly will see over 50 lakh people voting today. The voting starts at 8am.
  3. For the majority, any party needs 35 members. In 2012 elections, Congress won 36 seats and currently has 35 MLAs. BJP, on the other hand, won 26 seats at the time of 2012 elections and has 28 seats currently.
  4. Vikramditya Singh, son of Virbhadra Singh, who is contesting his first election, will contest from his father’s traditional seat, Shimla Rural. Virbhadra Singh is contesting from Arki.
  5. Except the first ever CM of Himachal, Yashwant Singh Parmar, no one else has become the chief minister in successive terms. BJP would hope for the trend to repeat, whereas, Congress would be eying to change the equation for the first time since 1960s.
  6. Prem Kumar Dhumal has switched his constituency from Hamirpur to Sujanpur.
  7. Virbhadra Singh faces corruption charges against him and is currently out on bail.
  8. BJP has largely targeted the corruption charges on Congress politicians, whereas, Congress is campaigning against the issues of GST, Demonetisation.
  9. Changing its strategy implemented in the recent times, BJP has announced a CM face before the elections.
  10. BJP has campaigned with a target of 50+ seats in the state, however, looking at the recent trend, it seems unlikely.

The results of these polls will be announced on 18th December, along with the results of Gujarat Assembly Elections.

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