Shimla: The result of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly election 2022 is out and Congress has swept away the apple belt in the Shimla district except Chopal. 

Shimla district has eight seats which include five seats of apple growing belts Rohru, Jubbal-Kotkhai, Theog-Kumarsain, Rampur Bushahr and Chopal. All these areas are major producers of apple and stone fruits.

In Theog, former Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) President Kuldeep Singh Rathore won by 5,269 votes, in Rohru, Mohan Lal Bragta retained his seat as he won by 19,339 votes. 

In Rampur, Congress candidate Nand Lal faced stiff competition from BJP candidate Kaul Singh Negi as he won by a difference of 567 votes. 

In Jubbal-Kotkhai, Rohit Thakur retained his seat after he defeated BJP candidate Chetan Bragta by 5,067 votes. The seat was vacated after former MLA Narinder Bragta passed away in 2021. Later in the by-elections, Congress candidate Rohit Thakur defeated his son Chetan Bragta who contested the elections as an independent candidate after he was denied a ticket by BJP. 

The only defeat Congress faced in the apple belt of the state is Chopal where BJP MLA Balbir Verma was able to retain his seat. Verma defeated Congress General Secretary Rajneesh Kimta by a margin of 5,033 votes. 

Congress was also able to win Shimla (Urban) seat after a gap of one and a half decade while the party retained its seats in Kasumpti and Shimla (Rural) after Anirudh Singh and Vikramaditya Singh, son of former six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh won by a margin of 8,655 and 13,860 votes. 

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Navneet Rathore is a Shimla based journalist having two-years of experience in the field of journalism. Navneet is a post-graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla and is specialised in crime, education, health, environment, agriculture and Horticulture beats.