Shimla: The Congress returned to power in Himachal Pradesh after five years, defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party by a handsome margin on Thursday. The Congress put up a spirited campaign under former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh to emerge victorious by a comfortable margin. Being pitched as a strong CM contender, Singh led his party while winning Shimla(Rural) constituency defeating his BJP rival Ishwar Rohal by 19,033 votes.
Winners: Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal from Hamirpur, HPCC chief Virbhadra Singh from Shimla (Rural), Leader of the Opposition Vidya Stokes from Theog, Stte BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti from Una, Gulab Singh, Ravinder Singh Ravi, Mohinder Singh, Jai Ram Thakur, Ishwar Dass Dhiman and Sarveen Chowdhary from Jogindernagr, Dehra, Dharampur Seraj, Bhoranj and Shahpur respectively.
Asha Kumari, AICC secretry from Dalhousie former MP and member of CWC, Dhani Ram Shandil from Solan, HLP chief and former MP, Maheshwar Singh and Former HPCC chief Kaul Singh Thakur.
Losers: All India Mahila Congress chief Anita Verma from Sujanpur, former minister Ram Lal Thakur from Sri Nainadevi, cabinet ministers Narinder Bragta, Khimi Ram, Krishan Kapoor and Romesh Dhawala from Jubbal and Kotkhai, Banjar, Dharamsala and Jwalamukhi respectively.
Seven-time Congress MLA and former minister and Speaker Gangu Ram Musafir from Pachhad, four-time Congress MLA Harshvardhan from Shillai, former minister Vijay Singh Mankotia from Shahpur, former Congress minister and seven-time MLA Rangilla Ram Rao from Sarkaghat.