New Delhi: Even though the BJP is set to oust ruling Congress party in Himachal Pradesh, its chief ministerial face Prem Kumar Dhumal was trailing heavily behind Congress's Rajinder Rana in Sujanpur.
At 73, Dhumal is just two years short of the BJP's unofficial cut-off - 75 - for appointing leaders to key posts. If goes on to lose from Sujanpur, it will cause an embarrassment to the party for elevating a defeated leader to the chief minister’s post.
Ahead of elections in the hill state, there were widespread speculations that the party had toyed with the idea of projecting Union Minister J.P. Nadda as its chief ministerial candidate. Dhumal's son, later claimed that his father's name had been agreed upon well in advance of the single-phase election.
There was a long gap between the elections on November 9 and counting on December 18.