The  Lahaul and Spiti Assembly Constituency has Ram Lal Markanda of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),  Ravi Thakur from the Indian National Congress (INC)  and Sudarshan Jaspa of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) contesting for this year’s Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections. Japsa previously contested elections in 2017 as an independent candidate. 

Himachal Pradesh has alternated between BJP and Congress governments for several decades. The state has a track record of never giving governance to the same party for more than two terms. The AAP’s entry into the classically direct battle between the Congress and the BJP is also anticipated to quell the BJP’s pitch, which has suffered immensely since Kejriwal’s party entered Delhi politics in 2013.

Also Read: Economic crisis in Himachal Pradesh under BJP rule: Congress

The BJP had won 44 of Himachal’s 68 assembly constituencies last time and the Congress had won 21. The CPI(M) had won one seat. A party needs to win 35 seats for a majority to form the government in the state.

In 2017, Ram Lal Markanda of the BJP won the seat by defeating his closest rival Ravi Thakur of the INC with a margin of 1,478 votes. Independent candidates Rajinder Karpa and Sudarshan Jaspa also contested the 2017 election. 

Lahaul and Spiti is one of the 68 assembly constituencies in Himachal Pradesh and is a district headquarters falling under the Mandi Lok Sabha Constituency. Lahaul and Spiti has more than 24,000 eligible voters. This constituency is reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates.

 In 2012, Ravi Thakur of INC defeated Dr Ram Lal Markanda of BJP by 3,696 votes. Baldev Singh of All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC), Vijay of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Gurdass of Lok Jan Shakti Party (LSP) and independent candidate Shamsher Singh contested the HP Assembly Elections in 2012. 

Himachal Pradesh votes in a single round on November 12. Results will be announced on December 8. Elections to the Gujarat assembly are also expected to be held in December this year. 

Quick facts about the Lahaul and Spiti Assembly seat  

Name of the assembly constituency, district: Lahaul and Spiti, Lahaul and Spiti district

Polling date: November 12, 2022

Sitting MLA, party: Ram Lal Markanda, BJP

Key candidates, party in 2022: Ram Lal Markanda (BJP), Ravi Thakur (INC), Sudarshan Jaspa (AAP)

Winning candidate, party in 2017:  Ram Lal Markanda, BJP

Runner-up name, party 2017: Ravi Thakur, INC

Winning margin in 2017: 1,478

Top 3 candidates 2017: Rajinder Karpa (Independent), Ram Lal Markanda (BJP), Ravi Thakur (INC)

Top 3 candidates 2012:  Baldev Singh (AITMC), Ram Lal Markanda (BJP), Ravi Thakur (INC)

Lok Sabha constituency: Mandi