With just months left for the crucial Assembly elections in the state of Himachal Pradesh, the ruling BJP has sustained a humiliating defeat in the by-elections to three Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat in the state. 

The Congress has staged a stunning clean sweep of by-elections in the BJP-ruled state of Himachal Pradesh, securing wins in three Assembly constituencies and the Mandi Lok Sabha seat. 

Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur, left with no options left, has taken responsibility for the saffron party’s drubbing in the by-elections. 

Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur said: “I take responsibility for BJP’s defeat in the by-elections, as I was leading the campaign.” 

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By-elections were held in the Himachal Assembly seats of Arki, Fatehpur and Jubbal-Kotkhai, and the Lok Sabha seat of Mandi. 

The Jubbal-Kotkhai Assembly seat has been won by Congress’ Rohit Thakur. BJP candidate Neelam Seraik secured less than 2600 votes. 

In Fatehpur, a Congress stronghold, Bhawani Singh Pathiani has retained the seat. 

In Arki, Congress’ Sanjay Awasthy defeated BJP’s Rattan Singh Pal by a margin of 3219 votes. 

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In the by-elections to Mandi Lok Sabha seat, Congress’ Pratibha Singh emerged victorious over BJP’s Brigadier (retd) Khushal Chand Thakur. 

Notably, the by-election to Mandi Lok Sabha seat was necessitated due to the demise of sitting MP Ram Swaroop Sharma of the BJP. 

Congress’ Pratibha Singh won the Mandi LS seat by securing over 3.65 lakh votes. Mandi is also the home district of Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur. 

In 2019, Lok Sabha elections, the Congress had lost this seat by over four lakh votes. 

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