In a neck-to-neck competition between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress (INC), trends show both leading at 32 seats in Himachal Pradesh.

However, State Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, who hails from BJP is currently leading from his constituency, Seraj with close to 15 thousand votes.
Thakur is currently leading the Seraj seat with 14921 votes while the Congress candidate for this seat, Chet Ram is trailing behind by receiving 4351 votes so far.

Congress candidate from Shimla Rural and former CM late Virbhadra Singh’s son, Vikramaditya Singh leading with a total of 7233 votes.
In the state capital, Shimla, Harish Janartha of Congress is currently leading with 3449 votes and BJP’s Sanjay Sood is trailing in the constituency with 2565 votes in the recently held assembly elections.

At the Kullu seat, Congress’ Sunder Singh Thakur is leading with 11599 votes and BJP’s Narotam Singh is trailing with a total of 8033 votes. Similarly, Congress candidate Sudhir Sharma is leading in the Dharamshala constituency with 6338 votes while Rakesh Kumar of BJP is trailing with 3584 votes, as per the latest trends by the ECI.

In Bilaspur, the trends by ECI show tough competition between its Congress and BJP candidate as Bumber Thakur has gained 2947 while BJP’s Trilok Jamwal is trailing and has gained 2940 votes so far.

According to the exit polls predicted on Monday, BJP has an edge over Congress in a tough fight in Himachal Pradesh.

While most exit polls predicted that BJP will likely retain Himachal Pradesh, one exit poll predicted Congress to lead in the sweepstakes to form government in the hill state.

The counting of votes for Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh began at 8 am on Thursday.

In Himachal, there are 68 counting halls in 59 locations across the state.

The elections for 68 assembly seats in the state were held on November 12 and around 75.6 per cent polling percentage was recorded.The hill state witnessed an intense campaign with BJP trying to return to power for a second consecutive term and Congress backing on its ’10 guarantees’ that the party listed out in its manifesto to take them home. The emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party as the third major political force in the state has intensified the electoral battle.

Besides these three, parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Rashtriya Devbhumi Party (RDP) are also in the fray.

Both BJP and Congress have claimed victory in the state which has had a tradition of changing governments for the past several years. If BJP wins then it will beat the anti-incumbency and change the trend of the alternate government in the state.

Out of the postal ballots issued to employees deployed on election duty, 52,859 postal ballots were received back by December 6, 2022 (approximately 87 per cent) by the returning officers all over the state, Maneesh Garg had said on Wednesday.

Notably, in the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP formed the government by winning 44 seats while Congress secured 21 seats. (ANI)