Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election 2017: Amid tight security, over 50% voters exercise franchise till 3 pm

More than 50 percent votes were cast on Thursday for the 68-seat Himachal Pradesh Assembly amid tight security, an election official said in Shimla.

IANS November 09, 2017 15:57:42 IST
Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election 2017: Amid tight security, over 50% voters exercise franchise till 3 pm

Shimla: More than 50 percent votes were cast on Thursday for the 68-seat Himachal Pradesh Assembly amid tight security, an election official said in Shimla.

Voters across the state could be seen reaching polling stations even before polling started at 8 am despite the cold in the single phase election.

"Despite minor hiccups as Electronic Voting Machines developed snags at some places, there was no report of any delay in starting the poll process," an electoral officer told IANS.

He said nearly 55 percent of votes were cast till 3 pm.

A total of 337 candidates, 19 of them women, are in the fray. There are 112 Independent candidates.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election 2017 Amid tight security over 50 voters exercise franchise till 3 pm

Voters in a queue show their voter identity card at a polling booth in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh on Thursday. PTI

The main contest is between the ruling Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Congress has projected incumbent Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh as its chief ministerial candidate, while Prem Kumar Dhumal is the BJP's. Both are contesting the elections.

Both Singh and Dhumal cast their votes along with family members at their hometowns Rampur and Samirpur, respectively.

A total of 50.25 lakh electorate, including 19 lakh women and 14 transgenders, will decide the fate of the candidates.

Voting began on a dull note, with below five percent polling in the first hour and by 10 am, rose to 13 percent.

Women turned out in strength in the rural areas.

The Congress and the BJP have fielded candidates on all 68 seats, while the BSP and the CPM have fielded 42 and 14 candidates respectively.

The Hikkim polling station in Lahaul-Spiti district, the country's highest polling booth at 14,567 feet, has 194 voters.

The minimum number of voters — six — are at Kaa village in Kinnaur district.

The polling will continue till 5 pm.

The vote count will be held on 18 December along with Gujarat.

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