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Virbhadra Singh wins back Himachal

Posted on Dec 21, 10:10AM | IBNS

Congress leader Virbhadra Singh on Thursday sailed back into power in Himachal Pradesh, scoring a wafer-thin majority of 36 in the 68-member Assembly attributed mainly to an anti-incumbency wave.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal managed to score only 26 seats for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), bogged down by severe infighting and rebel candidates.

The 78-year-old leader, a five-time chief minister, however won from Shimla (Rural).

The Independents, won five seats while Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) floated by BJP dissidents won one seat.

Claiming majority on Thursday, the Congress said it has the numbers for a majority in the Himachal Pradesh assembly and form the next government in the state.

Dhumal conceded defeat and said the party would 'analyse' the assembly polls result.

"It's a hard fact that everybody has to admit. Congress has won the election," Dhumal told reporters here.

"I have congratulated all the winning MLAs," he said.

Speaking on BJP's performance, he said: "We were confident of a win...If we have not won after doing good work for past five years then we really need to analyze that what went wrong against the party."

Dhumal had earlier asserted that he will come back for a second term.

Polling was held on Nov 4 in Himachal Pradesh.