Himachal Pradesh poll analysis: Incumbency, rebels cost BJP power
The Congress polled 42.81 per cent votes compared to39.54 per cent in 2007 and won 36 seats against tally of 23 seats in 2007 and gained a wafer thin majority in 68-member house.
The BJP's vote share came down by 5.31 per cent from 43.78 per cent to 38.47 per cent, reducing the number of seats from 41 to 26.
However, the combined vote share of both major parties decreased slightly by two per cent from 83.32 per cent in 2007 to 81.28 per cent in 2012.
The Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP), floated by BJP dissidents, failed to match the performance of Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC), formed by former Communication Minister Sukh Ram in 1998 which polled more than nine per cent votes and won five seats. HLP could manage to win only one seat and its vote share remained below 2.5 per cent.
The Independents fared much better this time winning five seats and securing between 10,000 and 20,000 votes in more than a dozen constituencies.
As many as 60 independents were in fray in 2007 and polled 14.2 per cent, winning three seats and the number of independents was 106 this time.
Some national parties like CPI (M), CPI, BSP, SP, TMC, LJP and Shiv Sena failed to make any impact and their presence was inconsequential.
The BJP lost four seats to rebels who won as independents while it was relegated to third position in four segments due to presence of strong rebels who failed to win.
The Congress regained its foothold in biggest Kangra district winning ten out of 15 seats, while the BJP could winonly three seats in spite of its tallest leader, former Chiefminister Shanta Kumar campaigning intensively for his loyalists.
The BJP had won nine seats in Kangra district in 2007 and the lone BSP MLA had joined it.
In Shimla district too, Congress did exceedingly well, winning six out of eight seats while in Mandi both the BJP and Congress shared five seats each and BJP conceded two seats to Congress.
The BJP made deep inroads in Sirmaur and Chamba districts winning three out of five seats in each district against only one seat in Sirmaur. The Congress wrested the Shillai seat in Sirmaur from Congress while the BJP won for the first time from Nahan.
The Congress lost the Shillai seat only once in 1990 since 1957 and former minister Guman Singh of Congress created a sort of record by winning the seat seven times in row.
The BJP suffered set back in Kullu where it had won all three seats last time and had to content with won seat only in spite of the district getting additional seat of Manali in delimitation.
In Hamirpur, the home district of Chief Minister P K Dhumal, the party won three out of five seats against four in present Assembly and five in 1998. Dhumal won by a reduced margin of about 20,000 votes from Hamirpur while the BJP rebel Rajinder Singh Rana, relegated the official party candidate to third position winning the adjoining Sujanpur seat by over 14,000 votes.
The Congress and the BJP, who had won the Nalagarh and Renuka seats respectively in the by-elections held one year ago, lost the seats this time.
The BJP which won all five seats in Solan district last time, lost the Solan (SC) and Doon seats and won the Kasauli (SC) seat by wafer thin margin of 24 votes.
The "mission repeat" of BJP was thwarted by the people who did succumb to aggressive campaign of BJP making corruption as main issue against Virbhadra Singh and harping of price rise and development.
The state government won more than 70 awards for its achievements during past five years but these awards did not help the ruling party to win 35 seats needed for forming the government.