Shimla: Veteran Congress leader Dhani Ram Shandil was leading over his nearest BJP rival and son-in-law Rajesh Kashyap from Solan assembly constituency in Himachal Pradesh.
Eighty-two-year-old retired army colonel Shandil, the oldest candidate in the fray, was leading by 1,371 votes over Kashyap, according to early trends given by the Election Commission.
Four candidates, including one from the Aam Aadmi Party, had contested from Solan.
Counting of votes for the 68-member assembly began at 8 am and the ruling BJP is hoping to retain power.
In the 2017 assembly elections, Shandil could barely hold on to his seat as he won by a narrow margin of 671 votes against Kashyap, who had then contested from Solan for the first time.
Shandil has also been an MP from Shimla earlier.
The fact that all parties treated Solan as a prestigious seat could be gauged from the fact that ahead of the November 12 polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addressed their party rallies in the constituency, while AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal took out a road show.
Kashyap had raised sewerage and parking problem as poll issues while Shandil had claimed that the previous Congress government undertook equitable development across the state.
Solan district is home to Himachal’s industrial corridor of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh.
The assembly constituency has two parts–urban and rural, and is famous for its mushrooms.