BJP retains Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat

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Hamirpur, May 25 (UNI) The BJP continued its winning streak in Himachal Pradesh retaining the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat by a record margin of about 1.75 lakh votes today following its victory in the last assembly elections, Hamirpur Deputy Commissioner cum Returning Officer Nandita Gupta said.

Mr Thakur defeated his Congress rival and former minister O P Rattan by a huge margin of 1,74,666 votes in the by-polls in which an estimated 52 per cent of the electorate had exercised their right to franchise, she told UNI here.

Ms Gupta said the BJP candidate polled 3,74,339 votes as against 1,99,673 votes received by Mr Rattan, who also failed in taking lead from his own constituency of Una town where the BJP candidate secured a lead of 3,801 votes.

The BJP leader also maintained his lead over the Congress candidate in the postal votes too by getting 1,178 more votes than his Congress rival.

Bahujan Shakti Party's candidate P C Kaundal and an independent Amin Chand forfeited their deposits having polled 4,937 and 6,484 votes respectively.

The BJP led in all the 17 assembly segments, spread over four districts of Kangra, Hamirpur, Una and Bilaspur, to record the highest ever victory margin for this seat by any candidate.

BJP's Suresh Chandel, who had resigned from Lok Sabha following his involvement in the ''cash for query'' scam a few years ago, had won the 1999 elections with over 1,29,000 votes.

Mr Thakur's lead from all the five assembly constituencies of Hamirpur district was 82,105 votes followed by 35,893 in three assembly constituencies in Kangra, 31,763 votes in four assembly seats of Bilaspur district and 23,727 votes in five assembly constituencies of Una district.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal had won the last parliamentary by-elections from this constituency, held almost an year ago, by a margin of over 80,000 votes.

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