The BJP is leading on 20seats in Himachal Pradesh,Congress on 13, and Independents in two, according to early trends on the Election Commission website.

Counting of votes for the 68-member assembly began at 8 am in the state where the ruling BJP is hoping to retain power. Votes are being counted across 59 locations in the state.

Candidates who are leading include Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur from Seraj, BJP’s Puran Chand from Darang, Chetan Bragata, son of former minister Narender Bragata, from Jubbal Kotkhai, Anil Sharma, son of former Union minister Sukhram, from Mandi Sadar and Congress’ Jagat Singh Negi, a former deputy speaker, from Kinnaur.  However, according to TV channel reports, the Congress is leading in 37 seats and BJP in 31.

In the first 30 minutes, postal ballot papers were counted and then the counting of votes for electronic voting machines (EVMs) commenced at 8.30 am.  

However, according to TV channel reports, the Congress is leading in 37 seats and BJP in 31.

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The elections witnessed a turnout of 64.33 per cent, around 4 per cent less than the previous Assembly polls in 2017. Of the 4.9 crore registered voters, only 3.16 crore voted in the 2022 elections

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Himachal Pradesh Congress president Pratibha Singh have maintained that their parties would get a full majority with over 40 out of the 68 seats. 

Congress general Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also at her home in Chhabra keeping an eye on the latest trends.

About 76.44 per cent of voters had exercised their franchise in the assembly polls held on November 12. A total of 412 candidates including 24 women and 99 independents are in fray.