Pradesh will elect its next state assembly on Saturday, November 12. The
elections to the hill state are exciting because while incumbent BJP is in a comfortable
position, the state has a three-decade record of throwing out governments every
five years. Therefore, the contest in the foothills of the Himalayas will go on
to show the manner in which the political paradigm is changing ahead of the
2024 general elections.

Pradesh will vote for 68 Assembly constituencies. In 2017, the BJP scored a
major victory winning 44 of the 68, nearly 64% of the seat share. The Congress
was a far second with 21 seats. This year, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is also a
contestant in the Himachal polls. However, the party has not seen a big
response in the state and has instead decided to focus on Gujarat.

Also Read | 5 issues Himachalis will be voting on this election

Here are
the five constituencies that may prove key battlegrounds in Himachal Pradesh:


Seraj is of
course one of the most critical constituencies in Himachal Pradesh. It is the
constituency of sitting chief minister Jai Ram Thakur. Thakur has been winning
the seat since 1998 and is once again the BJP’s candidate for the polls. While
he has a stellar record, there are complaints among electors that not enough
has been done in the region despite the CM being from Seraj. Thakur is up
against Congress’ Chet Ram.

Also Read | Who will be Himachal’s next chief minister?


has been a Congress bastion through the last decade. Congress’ Anirudh Singh
has been the MLA from the constituency over the last two elections and will be
intent on scoring a hattrick. The BJP has fielded Suresh Bharadwaj, Himachal’s urban
development minister, from Kasumpti, in a surprise move. Bharadwaj has won four
consecutive elections from Shimla urban, but in Kasumpti he is seen as an

Also Read | Who is Jai Ram Thakur?


Nadaun is
another constituency geared for a keen contest in the polls. Sukhwinder Singh
Sukhu, Congress’ most prominent face in Himachal Pradesh, is contesting from
Nadaun. Against him is BJP’s Vijay Agnihotri. Agnihotri beath Sukhwinder Singh
Sukhu in 2012 but lost to him in 2017. How the electors vote here will also
indicate Himachal’s attitude to the Congress in a big way.

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rural is a relatively new Assembly constituency. It was formed following the 2007
delimitation exercise. Virbhadra Singh, former Himachal Pradesh chief minister
and veteran Congress leader, won the elections from here in 2012. His son
Vikramaditya Singh is the sitting MLA and Congress’ candidate in the 2022
elections. The BJP has fielded a new face – Ravi Mehta.


Theog is
the apple growers’ constituency. Amid the battle between BJP and Congress,
Theog often stands alone and votes in the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Rakesh Singha of the CPI(M) is the sitting MLA and the party’s candidate for
the polls. The Congress has Pradesh Congress Committee chairperson Kuldeep
Rathore contesting from here while the BJP has Ajay Shyam.