New Delhi: The stage is all set to witness high voltage political battle between the ruling BJP and its bête noire Congress in the hill state Himachal Pradesh. The polling for 68-member assembly house will commence from 8 am in the morning on Sunday. It will end at 5 pm. The results will be declared on December 20.

Read More: Polling to be held on Sunday in Himachal

During the entire poll campaign, the BJP tried hard to buck the possible anti-incumbency against its government, while the Congress tried to cash in on the major poll plank.

Almost all the star campaigners from both the parties have put their weights to woo voters in their party candidates. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party general secretary Rahul Gandhi among others have campaigned to ensure victory of their party candidates, whereas BJP stalwarts Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitely, Shushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh have addressed several election rallies in support of their candidates.

The general trend in the hill state is that voters cast their franchise against the ruling party. It remains to be seen that which party will win the assembly poll. During the last assembly poll in 2007, the BJP had registered a landslide victory by winning 41 seats out of 68 paving the way for Prem Kumar Dhumal to be the Chief Minister of the state for the third time. The Congress won only 23 of the 68 seats and Vidya Stokes was made the Leader of Opposition in 2007.   

Probably this assembly election will be the last one for the octogenarian Congress leader Virbhadra singh and Vidya Stokes. After pondering over the political compulsion of Himachal Pradesh, the Congress high command ultimately decided to project Virbhadra Singh as the Chief Ministerial candidate for the assembly poll.

Had the Congress not fought Himachal poll under leadership of Virbhadra Singh, he would have been said good bye to the grand old party?

Amar Kumar Sharma/JPN

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