Himachal Pradesh Election Result: Congress Wins, Who Are the CM Probables?

Sukhwinder Sukhu and Mukesh Agnihotri are considered to be the front-runners but there are other possibilities too.

Hindi Female

The Congress party won with a majority in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, providing the party its first solo electoral win over the BJP in four years.

The party was quick to depute Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda to "secure" the party's MLAs.

As numbers stabilises, the focus shifted to choosing who would be the Congress chief minister in the state.

The party did well to fight the elections in a united manner, despite differences. Now, the challenge would be to evolve consensus around who should be CM and prevent any divisions.

The following names are doing the rounds as possible CMs.


1. Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu

Former president of the state Congress, Sukhu is leading from the Nadaun constituency in Hamirpur district.

This would be his fourth win from this constituency.

He is a strong Thakur face of the party and has been a counterweight to the Dhumal family in Hamirpur district.

The 58-year-old leader is considered one of the strongest candidates for the top job.


2. Mukesh Agnihotri

The Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing Assembly, Agnihotri is leading from the Haroli seat in Una district.

The Quint had visited Haroli during the election campaign and found that Agnihotri is hugely popular in the area. Voters say he has done a lot of infrastructure work and helped people during the COVID-19 lockdown.

However, he is a Brahmin. Himachal Pradesh has only had one Brahmin CM till date - BJP's Shanta Kumar. All the other CMs have been Thakur.

Also Agnihotri's seat is in the plains. Traditionally, CMs in Himachal Pradesh have been from hill seats.


3. Pratibha Singh

Mandi MP and president of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee, Pratibha Singh was the Captain of the Congress in this election. However, she also played an important role in ensuring that the state unit stays united. Wife of former CM Virbhadra Singh, she told The Quint that the election will be fought in his name.

Will the CM post go to Virbhadra Singh's family once again?

Her son Vikramaditya Singh has won from the Shimla Rural seat, but may be a bit junior to be CM.

Being PCC chief, Pratibha Singh may have support of more MLAs compared to other leaders. But she's not an MLA so another MLA will have to vacate his or her seat so that she can enter the Assembly.

Also, she would have to resign as Mandi MP. It needs to be seen if the Congress would take the risk of causing another bypoll?


4. An MLA from Kangra District

There is a sentiment within a section of the HP Congress that the CM should be from Kangra, which is the largest district accounting for 15 Assembly constituencies.

At the time of writing this story, the Congress was leading or winning on 10 out of the 15 seats, BJP in four and an Independent in one.

Dharamshala MLA Sudhir Sharma or another senior MLA from Kangra district could be considered if this is the criteria.

The party wants to consolidate its position in Kangra district. It had made Dharamshala HP's second capital in 2017


A few prominent Congress candidates, who could have been considered for the top job lost, such as Asha Kumari in Dalhousie and Kaul Singh Thakur in Darang.

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