Lok Sabha Results 2019: Anurag Thakur Wins Hamirpur, BJP Sweeps Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh will witness a bipolar contest between the Congress and the BJP with exit polls giving an edge to the saffron party
File Photo of Anurag Singh Thakur (Photo Credit: PTI)
Himachal Pradesh Lok Sabha Election Results 2019: BJP's Anurag Thakur won the from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh by margin of 3,87,812 votes at the time of filing this report. Retaining his old bastion, the sitting MP, defeated Congress' Ram Lal Thakur.
BJP's Kishan Kapoor defeated Pawan Kajal of Congress in Kangra. In Mandi, Ram Swaroop Sharma won over Congress' Aashray Sharma.
Congress was defeated in Shimla too, where Suresh Kumar Kashyap of BJP beat Dhani Ram Shandil.
The hill state, divided into four constituencies, traditionally witnesses a bipolar contest between the two national parties. However, BJP has been dominating the scene for two consecutive terms now.
The exit polls released last week had predicted BJP's victory in Himachal Pradesh, with most exit poll surveys showing the saffron party bagging all four seats.
Here are the ten key developments from Himachal Pradesh you need to know ahead of counting:
1) The News18-Ipsos exit poll predicted the BJP will win all four Lok Sabha constituencies, while the Congress will draw a blank. The ABP Nielson also came up with a similar prediction. In 2014, the BJP had swept the hill state, defeating Congress candidates by massive margins.
2) The state witnessed 72.25% polling, exceeding the previous highest turnout of 65.3% in 1998, when the Congress won the Shimla seat and the BJP emerged victorious in Mandi, Kangra and Hamirpur. The BJP has dominated the Hamirpur constituency since 1998. Suresh Chandel was twice elected the MP in 1999, 2004. He was succeeded by Anurag Thakur, who won majority in 2009 and 2014 general assembly elections. This rural general constituency, which went to polls in the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections, 72,732 votes which was 10.40% of the total votes polled.
3) Caste plays a major role in determining the fate of the candidates as has been witnessed over the years, power being shared between Thakurs and Brahmins mostly. The equation between the two has been such that the Brahmins have played role of kingmakers in Himachal, though the chair of CM went to Thakurs every time. Beginning from the first chief minister of the state, Yashwant Singh Parmar to the present CM Jairam Thakur. The only exception for a brief period has been BJP's Shanta Kumar, a Brahmin, who assumed the top role twice.
4) Scheduled castes, despite comprising 25.19% of the state’s population and being second only to Rajputs in numbers, have not organised themselves into a voting bloc. Other backward castes make up 17.1% of the population and can tilt the poll result in Kangra, Una, Hamirpur, Sirmaur and Solan districts. Tribal areas include Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Chamba districts where Gaddi is the most dominant tribe.
5) In Himachal Pradesh, Hamirpur is the most keenly observed constituency as as BJP's sitting MP Anurag Thakur fights Congress' Ram Lal Thakur to secure his bastion. In 2014, Anurag Thakur had won the seat by defeating the Congress candidate by a margin of 72,732 votes which was 10.40% of the total votes polled. Thakur, son of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, was also the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India from May 2016 to February 2017.
6) The Congress has fielded Ram Lal Thakur, a Congress MLA from Sri Naina Deviji Assembly seat, against Anurag. Meanwhile, an important development for Congress in these elections was the return of the 91-year-old Sukh Ram, who has been in and out of the Congress. He re-joined the grand old party in March, giving it a much-needed boost.
7) State legislators Kishan Kapoor and Suresh Kashyap, who have a lot of influence in their respective regions, are also in the fray for the parliamentary polls. The Congress had fielded Aashray Sharma in Mandi to take on siting BJP MP Ram Swaroop Sharma.
8) The major issues were lack of jobs, prices of farm produce, water scarcity and national security. The state depends heavily on tourism. However, this is a seasonal industry and a dearth of jobs in other sectors force the youth to often move to other states in search of employment. The scarcity of water in summer is a cause for concern in Shimla. Tourist-heavy areas such as the state capital of Shimla face the problem of encroachments. In a Rajput-dominated state, national security was an emotive issue during the election.
9) Himachal Pradesh is a state in north India and has 4 seats in the Lok Sabha of which 1 are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 0 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes. Himachal Pradesh also sends 3 members to the Rajya Sabha. There are 68 Assembly constituencies in the state and the last Assembly elections were held in December 2017.
10) According to the latest available data, there are a total of 51,59,000 eligible voters in Himachal Pradesh, of which 26,45,533 are male, 25,13,408 female and 59 voters of the Third Gender.
11) The state has one of the highest populations of government employees in India. This year, Himachal Pradesh may become the first Indian state where all households have cooking gas connection, according to the 2019-20 state budget.
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