The Congress sweep in Himachal: I take responsibility for defeat says Jai Ram Thakur
New Delhi, Nov 02: The Congress completed an impressive clean sweep of the by-elections in the BJP ruled Himachal Pradesh. The Congress won the three assembly seats and the Mandi Lok Sabha seat.
This win for the Congress comes just months before the state votes for a new government. Given the BJP's readiness to change Chief Ministers in the party ruled states especially where polls are due, this would increase the pressure on CM Jai Ram Thakur. He told reporters that he takes responsibility as he was leading the campaign in the state.
The BJP had some big names on the campaign trail including Thakur and Anurag Thakur. The by-polls were held in Arki, Fatehpur and Jubbal-Kotkhai, and the Mandi Lok Sabha seat.
The Jubba-Kotkhai seats was won by Rohit Thakur and the BJP's Neelam Seriak secured less than just 2,600 votes. The Election Commission data shows that independent candidate Chetan Singh Bragta finished second with 6,293 votes.
Bhawani Singh Pathiani has retained the Fatehpur seat left empty after the death of his father an MLA and former minister Sujan Singh Pathania.
Congress' Sanjay Awasthy beat the BJP's Rattan Singh Pal by 3,219 votes in Arki. The by-poll was held after the death of six time chief minister Virbhadra Singh in July. Singh's wife, Pratibha Singh secured over 3.65 lakh votes.
The Mandi seat was a closely fought battle between Congress' Pratibha Singhand the BJP candidate a Kargil war hero Brigadier (retd) Khushal Chand Thakur. The seat was bagged by the Congress.