Himachal Election: Mukesh Agnihotri Seeks 5th Consecutive Win; Will It Earn Him CM Candidature?

Mukesh Agnihotri, the Congress candidate, is leading from the assembly seat with 25057 votes, followed by Ram Kumar, the BJP candidate, with 19601 votes.

Himachal Election: Mukesh Agnihotri Seeks 5th Consecutive Win; Will It Earn Him CM Candidature?
Mukesh Agnihotri, Indian National Congress (INC) candidate from Haroli 

A JOURNALIST, who once struggled for a job is a four-time lawmaker and is comfortably poised for his fifth term as a member of the Himachal Pradesh assembly. As the counting for the poll-bound hill state is just a few days away, 60-year-old Mukesh Agnihotri, who rose to the rank of a Cabinet minister and later the Leader of the Opposition, is now looking forward to entering the chief ministerial race in Himachal Pradesh.

According to the Election Commission of India, the counting of votes is scheduled to be held on December 8 at 8 a.m. and will continue till all the votes are counted.

Mukesh Agnihotri, the Congress candidate, is leading from the assembly seat with 25057 votes, followed by Ram Kumar, the BJP candidate, with 19601 votes. 

Haroli, Agnihotri's Turf

Haroli, which was earlier known as Santokhgarh, is the only constituency that has continuously returned a brahmin candidate to the state assembly. The region always remained a stronghold of the Grand Old Party, with Vijay Joshi representing the region three times and Kashmiri Lal Joshi twice.

In the last election, Agnihotri's rival from the Bhartiya Janata Party lost to Agnihotri by a margin of 7,377 votes. In 2017, it had four candidates, with Mukesh Agnihotri receiving 35,095 votes and his BJP opponent, Ram Kumar, receiving 27,718 votes. Ravinder Mann, who contested independently, secured 833 votes and finished in third place.

In 2012, Mukesh defeated the BJP's Prof. Ram Kumar by a margin of 5,172 votes.

Haroli, which comes under Una district, is among the 68 Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly constituencies. It had 77,841 voters in 2017, consisting of 40,154 males and 37,687 females.

The 2022 Battle

In 2022, there will be a tough battle in the constituency with the candidate of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also contesting from the region. Other than many independent candidates, the key candidates in this constituency are Mukesh Agnihotri, fielded by the Indian National Congress (INC), Ravinder Pal Singh Mann from AAP, and Ram Pal Singh Mann from the BJP.

The constituency had a total voter turnout of 78 percent in the recently held elections in the hill state. Haroli, which falls under the Hamirpur Lok Sabha constituency, gave their mandate to the BJP's Anurag Singh Thakur in the 2019 Lok Sabha Election with a margin of 399573 votes, defeating Ram Lal Thakur of the Congress.

The polling in the hill state was held on November 12, and the counting will take place on November 8.

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