Riding a strong anti-incumbency wave against the Congress, the BJP today wrested the hill state of Himachal Pradesh winning 44 seats in the 68-member Assembly, even as the saffron party's chief ministerial face Prem Kumar Dhumal suffered a shock defeat.
The BJP just fell short of a two-thirds majority by two seats while the Congress, led by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, could win only 21 seats. CPI (M) bagged one seat while two seats were won by Independent candidates.
The ruling Congress was completely wiped out in Mandi district, where nine out of ten seats were won by the BJP with an Independent winning one seat.
The only consolation for the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress was that Himachal Pradesh has a history of changing the ruling formation at its helm every five years.
For the Congress, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh won the Arki Assembly seat while his son Vikramaditya Singh won from Shimla (Rural).
Senior-most minister in Virbhadra Singh's cabinet Kaul Singh was ...
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