NEW DELHI: BJP looks set to stage a comeback in Himachal Pradesh, with all exit polls on Thursday showing a big victory for the party in the hill state and a crippling loss for Virbhadra Singh-led Congress.
There are 337 candidates in the fray, including sitting Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal, among 62 sitting MLAs, contesting the polls.
Today’s Chanakya-News 24 has predicted 55 seats for BJP and only 13 for Congress in the 68-member assembly. The India Today-AXIS poll has predicted 47-55 seats for BJP and 13-20 for Congress. The TOI Online-CVoter exit poll says BJP will win at least 41 seats in the state, while Congress will be reduced to 25 seats. The Times Now-VMR exit poll says BJP will win 51 seats and Congress will come down to just 17 seats this time.
Grappling with corruption allegations and facing the heat from investigate agencies like CBI and Enforcement Directorate, chief minister Virbhadra Singh had fought the assembly election with his back to the wall. Prime Minister Modi had taken him on publicly on the issue of corruption, calling the Congress leadership as one “on bail”. Also, at the fag end of its campaigning, BJP had declared former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal as its chief ministerial candidate, ending a controversy over the issue raise ..