Assembly bypolls: Congress wins three seats in Himachal, leading in one more

Congress' Anuradha Rana wins by defeating Independent candidate and former BJP minister Ram Lal Markanda by a margin of 1,960 votes

Congress candidate Anuradha Rana (photo: @Saurabhjr/X)
Congress candidate Anuradha Rana (photo: @Saurabhjr/X)


Congress on Tuesday, 4 June, won three Assembly bypoll seats in Himachal Pradesh and was ahead in one more seat, while the BJP was leading in two constituencies, as per the Election Commission.

Congress leaders from Lahaul and Spiti, Sujanpur and Gagret seats have won the elections while its candidate was leading in Kutlehar. BJP candidates are leading in Dharamshala and Barsar seats.

In a triangular contest in Lahaul and Spiti bypoll, Congress candidate Anuradha Rana won by defeating her nearest rival Independent candidate and former BJP minister Ram Lal Markanda by a margin of 1,960 votes.

Anuradha Rana, who is the first woman to have contested elections from Lahaul and Spiti in 52 years, became the second woman ever to win from the Assembly segment.

Anuradha Rana polled 9,414 votes against 7,454 votes polled by Markanda, while BJP candidate Ravi Thakur stood third with 3,049 votes.

In Sujanpur, Congress rebel and now BJP candidate Rajinder Rana lost to Captain Ranjit Singh by a margin of 2,440 votes.

Rajinder Rana, who had defeated former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in the 2017 Assembly polls, polled 27,089 votes against 29,529 polled by Singh. The result has been officially declared by the EC.

BJP candidate from Gagret, Chaitanya Sharma, lost by 8,487 votes to Congress' Rakesh Kalia.

BJP's candidate from Kutlehar, Davinder Bhutto, is trailing behind by 4,887 votes after the last round of counting.

BJP's Sudhir Sharma, a former minister, is ahead by 5,526 votes in Dharamshala, while his party candidate from Barsar, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, is leading by 2,441 votes.

The bypolls were held on 1 June, simultaneously with elections to the four Lok Sabha seats.

The Assembly constituencies where bypolls were held are Sujanpur, Dharamshala, Lahaul & Spiti, Barsar, Gagret and Kutlehar.

Six Assembly seats fell vacant following disqualification of Congress rebels for defying the whip to vote in favour of the Congress's state government during the budget.

The six rebel legislators voted for the BJP in Rajya Sabha polls on 29 February, later joined the BJP and are now contesting on the BJP ticket from their respective Assembly segments.

Rajinder Rana (Sujanpur), Sudhir Sharma (Dharamshala), Ravi Thakur (Lahaul and Spiti), Inder Dutt Lakhanpal (Barsar), Chaitanya Sharma (Gagret) and Devinder Kumar Bhutto (Kutlehar) had voted in favour of BJP's Rajya Sabha nominee Harsh Mahajan on 27 February along with three Independents.

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