Shimla: As the voting began for 68 Assembly seats, Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Pratibha Singh on Saturday said that everyone will cast their vote today and cooperate to form a new government in the state. A total of 55,92,828 electors will decide the fate of 412 candidates in the Himachal polls.
Out of the total number of electorates, 27,37,845 are women, 28,54,945 men and 38 were third-gender. This time, the representation of woman candidates is 24. “All people of Himachal Pradesh are very excited. Everyone will cast their vote today and cooperate to form a new government in the state,” said Singh.
Speaking on anti-incumbency in the state, the Congress chief said, “I don’t think there is anything like that. As far as voters are concerned, majority of them see who has worked and who has to be brought forward.”
The fight is in between the ruling BJP in the state which is looking to retain power ditching the trend of the alternate party coming to power every five years since 1982, and Congress which is banking on its ’10 guarantees’ that the party listed out in its manifesto to take them home.
Aam Aadmi Party is in line looking to leave a mark in the state and thus contesting on all the 68 seats alone. On one side BJP which is eying to change the trend of alternate government has promised for the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code, eight lakh jobs in the state, 33 per cent reservation for women in government jobs and educational institutions.
While Congress which is the oldest party of the country has promised to fulfill the long pending demand of the hilly state of the Old Pension Scheme. The party has also promised to give 1 lakh government jobs. To woo women, who form 48 per cent of the electorate, Congress has promised Rs 1,500 per month to each of them aged between 18 and 60.
It has also promised 300 units of free electricity. Besides these three parties, parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Rashtriya Devbhumi Party (RDP) are in the fray.
Meanwhile, 67 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) comprising 6,700 personnel and 15 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) companies have been deployed to hold free and fair Assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh.
Besides this, 50,000 government employees have been put on poll duty. As many as 25,000 police officers are also stationed across the state. Teams from the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) comprising 800 personnel have also been posted.
The counting of votes will be done on December 8. In 2017, BJP swept the Himachal polls, bagging 44 of the total 68 seats while Congress managed to get just 21 seats.