The ruling BJP Thursday swept the Lok Sabha elections in Himachal Pradesh winning all four seats with record margins of about four lakh votes in each constituency, securing 69 per cent of the vote share.
The winning candidates included sitting MPs Anurag Thakur (Hamirpur) and Ram Swaroop Sharma (Mandi).
The two other winners are party MLAs Suresh Kashyap who won from Shimla, and Kishan Kapoor who bagged the Kangra seat.
The three-term MP and son of former state Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, Anurag Thakur retained his Hamirpur seat, defeating his nearest rival Ram Lal Thakur of Congress with a record margin of 3,99,572 votes.
Thakur, a former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), polled 6.83 lakh votes against 2.83 lakh secured by his rival Ram Lal Thakur.
The BJP vote share in Hamirpur is 69.04 per cent against the Congress’ 28.63 per cent.
Ram Swaroop Sharma defeated Aashray Sharma, grandson of former Union Minister Sukh Ram, of the Congress by a margin of 4,05,459 votes in Mandi.
Sharma had won the same seat in 2014 defeating former chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh by 39,856 votes.
In Mandi, the BJP polled 68.75 per cent against the Congress’ 25.68 percent.
BJP MLA Suresh Kashyap from Pachhad won the Shimla seat defeating Dhani Ram Shandil by a margin of 3,27,515 votes. While Kashyap polled 6,06,183 votes, Shandil managed to secure only 2,78,668.
The other four candidates in Shimla lost their deposits.
The Shimla seat was won by Virender Kashyap of the BJP in 2014, when he defeated Mohan Lal Brakata of the Congress by over 84,000 votes. The BJP, however, dropped him this time to field Suresh Kashyap.
In Shimla, the BJP’s vote share is 66.35 per cent against the Congress’ 28.63 per cent.
BJP’s Dharamshala MLA Kishan Kapoor won the Kangra seat defeating Pawan Kajal of Congress by a margin of 4,77,623 votes. Kapoor polled 7,25,218 votes, while Kajal managed to get 2,47,595 votes.
In 2014, former chief minister Shanta Kumar had won the Kangra seat, defeating Chander Kumar of the Congress by over 1.70 lakh votes.
But the BJP had chosen to filed HP’s minister Kishan Kapoor this time.
The vote share of the BJP in Kangra is 72.02 per cent against the Congress’ 24.59 per cent.
A total of 33,008 voters opted for NOTA (none of the above) -- 5,298 in Mandi, 8,026 in Hamirpur, 11,327 in Kangra and 8,357 in Shimla.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah for the massive mandate in the Lok Sabha elections.
“It is for the first time in the history of the state that BJP candidates have won with such a huge margin in all the parliamentary seats,” he said in a statement.
He thanked voters for giving the BJP a lead for the first time in all 68 assembly segments in the state.
The election result is a referendum on the policies and programmes of the BJP governments at the Centre and the state, he added.
“It is a mandate for a strong and vibrant India which is only possible under the dynamic leadership of Narendra Modi,” Thakur said.
State Congress president Kuldeep Singh Rathore accused the the BJP of raking up the emotive issue of national security to win the elections.
The state, meanwhile, is headed for bypolls on two assembly seats within six months due to the vacancies arising in the state assembly with the elevation of BJP MLAs Kashyap and Kapoor to the Lok Sabha.