Shimla: As the polling for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections is currently underway, the state has recorded only 17.98 per cent voter turnout till 11 am. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), Mandi recorded the highest voter turnout at 21.92 per cent while Lahaul and Spiti recorded the lowest voter turnout at 5 per cent.
A voter turnout was 13.84 per cent in Bilaspur, in Chamba it was at 12.07 per cent, Hamirpur recorded 19.40 per cent, Kangra recorded 15.49 per cent, Kinnaur was at 20 per cent, in Kullu 14.54 per cent people turned out, Mandi at 21.92 per cent, in Shimla it was at 17.73 per cent, Sirmour recorded 21.66 per cent, Solan at 20.28 per cent and Una recorded 19.92 per cent turnout.
Voters across the state queued up outside polling booths on Saturday to elect a new state government. While Sirmaur witnessed 6.26 per cent voter turnout, Lahaul recorded just 1.56 per cent. Notably, there are 55,92,828 electors who can cast their votes till 5 pm today will decide the fate of 412 candidates who are in the fray.
Out of the total number of electorates, 27,37,845 are women, 28,54,945 men and 38 third-gender. This time, the representation of woman candidates is 24.According to the Election Commission, a total of 7,881 polling stations have been set up for today’s polls. The Kangra district has a maximum of 1,625 polling stations while the Lahaul-Spiti district has the lowest 92.
There are 7,235 polling stations in rural and 646 polling stations in urban areas. Besides, three auxiliary polling stations have also been set up at Sidhbari (Dharamshala), Bara Bhangal (Baijnath) and Dhillon (Kasauli).The fight is in between the ruling BJP in the state which is looking to retain power 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 is contesting on all 68 seats.
The key contests include Seraj where Chief Minister Jairam Thakur is contesting against Congress’ Chetram Thakur and AAP candidate Gita Nand Thakur. Mahinder Rana is the CPI-M candidate.Congress has fielded Vikramaditya Singh, son of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh from Shimla Rural against BJP’s Ravi Mehta and AAP’s Prem Thakur.
Shimla Assembly constituency is set to witness a close fight between BJP, AAP, Congress and CPIM.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.