Shimla: With 105 independents in the fray for the Assembly polls in Himachal on Sunday, all eyes are set on them to see if they will turn into game changers for the Congress and the BJP.
There are 105 independents contesting for the 68-member Himachal Assembly, including two dozen rebels of both BJP and Congress.
Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP), floated by BJP dissidents, has fielded 36 candidates and is also supporting four independents and 23 candidates from the Left parties to make the going tough for BJP.
Independents have always played a crucial role in the elections. 16 out of 147 independents won elections in 1967, polling 38.10 percent of the total votes. In 1972 again, seven out of 148 Independents were elected to the Assembly, polling 28.27 per cent of the votes.
Highest number of 205 independents were in the fray in 1982 and six were elected, polling 14.23 percent votes.
In the last elections, three independents out of 60 made it to the Assembly, polling 7.97 percent votes.
The BJP and Congress are contesting all 68 seats while BSP has fielded 66 candidates followed by Himachal Lokhit Party (36), TMC (25), SP (16), CPI-M (15), NCP and Swabhiman Party (12 each), CPI (7), Shiv Sena (4) and 105 Independents.