Himachal Pradesh goes to polls today

Haryana and Punjab have bucked the anti-incumbency trend in recent years, but no party has returned to power in Himachal Pradesh since 1993. The state will vote on Thursday. The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is confident of a massive win, while the Congress claims there is no anti-incumbency against the Virbhadra Singh government. However, both parties are saddled with infighting. 

The BJP had to announce its chief ministerial face in Prem Kumar Dhumal barely a little over a week before the election. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed six public meeting and BJP chief Amit Shah seven. Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi addressed three. In the 2012 Assembly polls, the Congress and the BJP won 36 and 26 seats polling 43.21 and 38.83 per cent votes. Independents candidates polled 15.87 votes and five Independents were elected. The counting of votes is on December 18.

Total number of seats - 68

Total electoral: 5,025,941

Total polling booths: 7,525

Total number of candidates: 338* (including 19 women)

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