Himachal Pradesh polls: 74 per cent voting recorded as BJP, Congress battle in 68 constituencies
SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh today recorded its highest polling in assembly elections with 74 per cent of voters exercising their franchise, the Election Commission said today.
The figure was till 5 pm and the final polling percentage may be revised as final voting figures are yet to be tallied. Polling was still on in about 500 booths.
The previous highest polling percentage of 73.5 was recorded in the 2012 assembly polls, Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena said. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, it was 64.45 per cent.
At a press conference, Saxena said the elections were peaceful and no incident of violence was reported.
A total of 11,283 VVPAT units were used in all polling booths of the 68 constituencies out of which 297 were replaced, Saxena said, adding this was well within the technical limits.
The Congress is currently ruling the hill state and the BJP is eyeing to return to power after a gap of five years.
In the outgoing 68-member assembly, the Congress and the BJP have 35 and 28 MLAs respectively. There are four Independent MLAs while one seat was vacant.
The poll results will be announced on December 18.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, 10 ministers, eight chief parliamentary secretaries, Deputy Speaker Jagat Singh Negi, former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and over a dozen former ministers were among those who have thrown their hat in the ring.
"The Congress party will be victorious with full majority," said Singh. [READ FULL REPORT]
On the other hand, Dhumal told ANI, “We aimed to get 50 plus seats, but now that we are receiving so much support from all sections of the society, we expect it to cross 60." [READ FULL REPORT]
Elderly woman, Barfi Devi, casts her vote at polling booth number 7 in Samirpur #HimachalPradesh pic.twitter.com/2TILgQi2Pk
— ANI (@ANI) November 9, 2017
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.
#Visuals from a polling station in Mandi, voting to begin at 8 AM in all the 68 constituencies #HimachalPradesh pic.twitter.com/Z8fL2OpcxG
— ANI (@ANI) November 9, 2017
Himachal Pradesh Polls 2017: Facts and figures
The 12-day high-voltage campaign, which ended Tuesday, saw over 450 rallies by star campaigners of the BJP and the Congress.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed seven rallies and BJP president Amit Shah six.
ALSO READ: Congress, BJP bank on old guards to woo voters
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi addressed three rallies.
Corruption was the main focus of the BJP campaign with the party training its guns on the chief minister while the Congress hit out at the BJP over the issue of GST and demonetisation.
Dharamsala has the maximum number of candidates at 12.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mansa Ram, who was elected for the first time in 1967 from Karsog (SC), is in the fray for the eleventh time.
There are 19 women in the fray, six from the BJP and three from the Congress. Seven rebels each from the two parties are also contesting the polls.
At present, the Congress has 35 and the BJP 28 MLAs in the 68-member House. There are four independents while one seat is vacant.