Absence of wave makes Cong-BJP clash interesting in HP

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Shimla, Dec 18 (UNI) Though there is no perceptible wave against any party in the electoral battle for Himachal Pradesh, the ruling Congress is facing an uphill task in several constituencies of the state due to incumbency factor, which was likely to work in favour of the BJP.

However, the presence of the BSP in the fray has both the Congress and the BJP worried, since the party is contesting 64 assembly constituencies for the first time and no one was sure as to how many seats this party would win.

The Congress, which had swept Mandi, Shimla, Solan and Sirmaur districts in 2003 elections, and won 17 out of 28 assembly seats in the region, was finding the going tough in these elections.

The BJP that had only recorded victory in five seats in these districts was expecting to get a substantial number of seats in these elections, while the independents, which had won six seats last time, were likely to lick the dust in these districts with the polarisation taking place between the two main parties.

The BJP was comfortably places in Hamirpur district while it was an even battle in Una, Bilaspur and Kangra districts, which account for 30 out of 65 seats.

The Kullu and Chamba districts with seven seats are hanging in balance but the BJP is having edge in three seats of Chamba district.

The presence of BSP and some strong rebels of BJP and Congress has upset the calculations of major political parties and independents are going strong in half a dozen constituencies.

The BSP is struggling hard to enter the Vidhan Sabha for the first time, while CPM and the LJP were in contention in Shimla and Nahan constituencies.

The CPM had won Shimla seat in 1993, while the LJP wrested the Nahan seat from Congress in 2003.

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