New Delhi, November 9: After the high voltage Political campaign for the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly, the polling of first and last phase concluded with the voter turnout 74 per cent till 5 PM. The counting of votes would be taken up on December 18.
Sharma said “Today's election was by and large peaceful. No untoward incident has yet been reported, except for a dozen of glitches in EVM and VVPAT machines in some polling booths.”
Till 4 pm Chaupal recorded voter turnout of 70%, Shimla Urban constituency recorded 66%, Shimla Rural 62%, Jubbal Kotkhai 75%, and Nalagarh 80%, Voter turnover in Una district 67.09%, Kullu district 66.14%.
The two top contenders incumbent Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and BJP’s CM face Prem Kumar Dhumal were among the early risers to cast their ballot.
337 candidates are in fray. While, the Congress and BJP are contesting on all 68 seats, CPI(M) has fielded 14 candidates, and 187 candidates of small parties and independents are also contesting.
73-year-old Prem Kumar Dhumal, whose name was announced by the BJP just few weeks ago, is a two-term chief minister and a leader of opposition in the outgoing assembly. He is seeking to thwart the Congress’s chief ministerial candidate Virbhadra Singh’s record seventh shot at power.
Virbhadra Singh, 83, the tallest Congress leader in the state, is facing graft cases and is locked in a bitter feud with state Congress chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu whose ouster he sought but failed to ensure ahead of the elections.
With Bihar government forming an alliance with the BJP without an election, BJP currently is in power in 18 states while Congress is ruling in only six states, including Himachal Pradesh.