Shimla: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to beat the Congress in forming the government in Himachal Pradesh, where the votes polled in the 68-member Assembly election held in November are being counted.
According to the latest trends from the hill state at 9.45 am, the BJP is close to the half-way mark by leading at 34 seats, while the ruling Congress is leading at 20.
The verdict will decide the fate of 337 candidates including Chief Ministerial nominees Virbhadra Singh (Congress) and Prem Kumar Dhumal (BJP). Singh is leading in Arki, while Dhuma is trailing.
Most exit polls had indicated the BJP’s return to power with an absolute majority.
The Congress and the BJP contested in all the 68 constituencies. A total of 37,83,580 people voted in the hill state — a record 75.28 per cent polling.
The state has alternately elected Congress and BJP governments since 1985. In 2012, the Congress won 36 seats and the BJP 26. Independents won six seats.