The Bharatiya Janata Party bagged 47 seats in Uttarakhand, Election Commission data showed. The majority mark in the 70-member Assembly is 36.

However, sitting chief minister and BJP candidate in the Khatima Assembly constituency, Pushkar Singh Dhami lost to Bhuwan Chandra Kapri of the Congress by a margin of 6,579 votes.

Congress has won 18 seats in the state and was leading in one at 12.20 am on Friday. The Bahujan Samaj Party won one constituency and was leading in one more. Independent candidates have won in two constituencies.

Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister and Congress candidate Harish Rawat lost in Lalkuwa Assembly constituency by a margin of 17,527 votes to BJP’s Mohan Singh Bisht. Rawat took responsibility for the party’s defeat.

“Our campaign strategy was insufficient and I accept it as chairman of the campaign committee. People worked very well and I’d like to thank them,” he said. He added that the results surprised him.

“I cannot understand that after such massive inflation if this was the public’s mandate, what is the definition of public welfare and social justice?”

BJP candidate Satpal Maharaj won the Chaubattakhal Assembly constituency by a margin of 11,430 votes.

Union Minister and BJP’s state in-charge, Pralhad Joshi told ANI: “Under the leadership of PM Modi and CM Pushkar Singh Dhami, we gave welfare policies to the people of Uttarakhand and got results.”

Counting of votes for the Uttarakhand Assembly election 2022 began at 8 am on Thursday.

Polling in all 70 constituencies of the hill state was held in a single phase on February 14. The state recorded a voter turnout of 65.37%, marginally lower than 2017’s figure of 65.56%.

The election will decide the fate of a total of 632 candidates. Out of these, 136 are Independent candidates, while the rest have been fielded by various political parties.

In the 2017 polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party had secured a comfortable victory by winning 57 constituencies. The Congress had won 11 seats, while Independent candidates had won from two constituencies.

This time, exit polls have predicted a tough fight between the two major national parties. Although most of them have predicted that the BJP will be ahead, some of them have tipped the Congress to be the winner.

The entry of the Aam Aadmi Party lends an additional element of uncertainty to the election. The Arvind Kejriwal-led party is contesting an Assembly election in Uttarakhand for the first time as it seeks to expand its footprint at the national level.

The other important parties in the state are the Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, Uttarakhand Kranti Dal and Progressive Democratic Front.

The key candidates in the election are Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, former chief minister Harish Rawat, senior BJP leader and four-time MLA Madan Kaushik, senior Congress leader and six-time MLA Yashpal Arya, and the AAP’s chief ministerial candidate Ajay Kothiyal.