In Himachal, BJP’s Big Test In Mandi, Tight Contest With Congress


In Himachal, BJP's Big Test In Mandi, Tight Contest With Congress

New Delhi:

The BJP is ahead in one of three Assembly seats that went for bypolls last week, and is neck-and-neck with the Congress in the race for the single Lok Sabha seat up for grab in the state.

The lead for the Mandi Lok Sabha seat is swinging back and forth between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress, in a 

The BJP has fielded Kargil war hero Brigadier (retd) Khushal Chand Thakur and the Congress has fielded Pratibha Singh, who is the wife of the late former six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

At 10.50 am, Pratibha Singh had 2.03 lakh votes to Chand Thakur’s 1.99 lakh votes.

The Mandi bypoll was triggered after the death of the BJP’s Ram Swaroop Sharma in March.

The BJP’s Baldev Thakur is narrowly ahead in the race for the Fatehpur Vidhan Sabha seat.

The Congress has fielded Bhawani Singh Pathania from here.

Fatehpur has been a Congress stronghold for over a decade. The bypoll here was needed because of the death of party MLA Sujan Singh Pathania.

The former state minister died in February after a prolonged illness.

The Congress is ahead in counting for the Arki Assembly seat, where Sanjay Awasthy has a sizeable lead over the BJP’s Rattan Singh Pal.

The Arki bypoll was needed because of the death of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. The veteran Congress leader died on July 8

An independent candidate – Chetan Singh Bragta – is leading the race for third Vidhan Sabha seat (Jubbal-Kotkhai). The Congress’ Rohit Thakur is second and the BJP’s Neelam Seraik is a poor third.

The bypoll for this seat (called the ‘apple heartland of Himachal Pradesh’) was necessitated because sitting BJP MLA Narinder Bragta died in June.