BJP retains Himachal assembly seat for seventh time

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Shimla, April 13 (IANS) The opposition BJP on Thursday retained its stronghold of Bhoranj in Himachal Pradesh for the seventh consecutive term in the by-poll, an election official said.

It attributed its victory to poor governance and lack of development by the Congress government.

In a straight contest, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Anil Dhiman, a physician by profession, defeated Promila Devi of the Congress by a margin of 8,290 votes in the by-election held on April 9 for the constituency in Hamirpur district.

Dhiman polled 24,434 votes against 16,144 votes of Promila Devi, a two-time Zila Parishad member, an Election Commission official told IANS.

A total of 263 voters opted NOTA (none of the above) as they did not find any candidate suitable.

The by-poll was necessitated following the death of two-time former Cabinet Minister I.D. Dhiman, who had won six consecutive elections from this constituency from 1990.

Anil Dhiman, who was leading in all the 12 rounds of vote count, is the son of the late I.D. Dhiman.

The election saw over 63 per cent voting.

Leader of Opposition and two-time BJP Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal told reporters that this victory was a clear indication that the party was going to form the next government in the state.

He attributed his party’s victory to poor governance and lack of overall development in the state.

Assembly elections in the state are due in December. With this victory, the BJP is also hoping to win for the first time the Shimla Municipal Corporation polls slated in June.

“This election was the semi-final ahead of the main election in the state,” Anil Dhiman told IANS over the phone.

An elated BJP state chief Satpal Satti said corruption and the mafia rule in the state was the main poll plank in this election.

“This poll has stamped out future victory,” he added.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said Bhoranj has never remained the Congress bastion since long.

“It should not be taken as a mandate for the assembly elections,” he told reporters here.

–IANS

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