Himachal Pradesh votes right now in high-stakes contest

Over 5.5 million voters will resolve the destiny of 412 candidates within the fray for 68 meeting constituencies in Himachal Pradesh, the place polling might be held in a single section on Saturday.

The voting is scheduled from 8 am to five pm throughout 7,884 polling stations, together with 7,235 in rural areas and 646 in city pockets of the state. Three auxiliary polling stations have additionally been arrange in far off areas by the Election Fee. Counting of votes might be held on December 8.

Of the full 5,592,828 registered voters within the state — which noticed a turnout of 75.57% within the 2017 meeting elections — 2,854,945 electors are male whereas 2,737,845 are feminine. A complete of 121,409 voters are above the age of 80, together with 1,136 centenarians. Amongst these eligible to train their franchise on Saturday additionally embrace 67,559 service personnel and 22 NRIs.

Although all preparations have been accomplished by the Election Fee for the sleek conduct of the polls, recent snowfall within the larger reaches of the hill state has added to the woes of each the voters in addition to polling officers, individuals acquainted with the matter mentioned.

A complete of 140 polling stations within the tribal Lahaul and Spiti district apart from Kinnaur and Chamba are snowbound, mentioned an official, requesting anonymity.

“I’ve been deputed for election responsibility at Purthi in Chamba district’s Pangi valley, which is 28 km from the headquarters in Killar. Snowfall has made situations troublesome for us,” mentioned Man Singh, an worker of the electrical energy board on election responsibility. “We travelled in a car after which trekked our method to attain our vacation spot.”

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The upper reaches of the state skilled recent snowfall on Friday, including to the journey woes of polling officers. To succeed in Chask Bhatori in Chamba, located at an altitude of 4,500 metres above sea degree, officers needed to stroll for 14 km to succeed in the polling station, the place solely 26 persons are eligible to forged their votes, mentioned the official.

“Regardless of the snowfall in larger altitude areas, all preparations have been put in place,” mentioned DC Rana, deputy commissioner, Chamba.

Of the full 412 candidates within the fray, solely 24 are girls. The Bharatiya Janata Social gathering (BJP) and the Congress have fielded candidates in all 68 seats, whereas the Aam Aadmi Social gathering (AAP) is contesting 67 seats and the Bahujan Samaj Social gathering (BSP) 53. A complete of 99 unbiased candidates are additionally within the ballot fray.

Within the earlier state polls in 2017, the BJP gained 44 seats, Congress 21, two have been independents whereas one seat was gained by the Communist Social gathering of India (Marxist), which is contesting 11 seats this time round.

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