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Chandel prevents Congress sweep in Himachal Pradesh

May 13, 2004 21:29 IST

Suresh Chandel of the Bharatiya Janata Party won the Hamirpur seat to deny a clean sweep to the Congress in Himachal Pradesh, which has four Lok Sabha seats.

Chandel defeated state Industries Minister Ram Lal Thakur by just 1,625 votes. It was his third consecutive win from the seat.

The Congress wrested the Kangra, Mandi and Shimla (Reserved) seats from the BJP and its former alliance partner Himachal Vikas Congress.

Among the losers is Union minister and two time chief minister of the state Shanta Kumar, who was humbled by state Forest Minister Chander Kumar by about 17,791 votes.

Prominent among the winners is Pratibha Singh, wife of Chief Minister V B Singh who defeated BJP stalwart and three-time MP from Mandi parliamentary constituency Maheshwar Singh (BJP) by 66,500 votes.

In Shimla parliamentary constituency, former HVC MP Dhani Ram Shandil, who had contested as a Congress candidate this time, trounced BJP greenhorn H N Kashyap by a margin of over 108,180 votes.

The Congress which had lost all the seats in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections almost repeated the performance of the 2003 assembly elections but failed to dislodge the BJP in Hamirpur, the home district of former chief minister P K Dhumal.

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