A total of 55,92,828 voters casting their ballots through 5 p.m. today will decide the fate of 412 candidates in battle
Shimla: The election for 68 parliamentary seats in Himachal Pradesh began at 8am on Saturday amid tight security.
A total of 55,92,828 voters casting their ballots through 5 p.m. today will decide the fate of 412 candidates in battle.
Of the total number of eligible voters, 27,37,845 are women, 28,54,945 are men and 38 are of the third sex. This time the representation of candidates is 24.
The political parties’ high-tension election campaign ended on November 10th, after which it is up to voters in Himachal Pradesh to decide the political fate of the candidates today.
The struggle is between the state’s ruling BJP, which is attempting to retain power by bucking the trend of the alternative party coming to power every five years since 1982, and Congress, which is bound by its “10 Guarantees.” ‘ sets out the party’s manifesto to bring them home. The Aam Aadmi Party wants to leave its mark on the state and is therefore alone in contesting all 68 seats.
The challenge for the ruling BJP will be to oppose the anti-official government and change the trend of the alternative government.
Besides these three parties, parties like Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Rashtriya Devbhumi Party (RDP) are in struggle.
The BJP brought star activists such as Union Interior Minister Amit Shah, party leader Jagat Prakash Nadda and Uttar Pradesh Prime Minister Yogi Adityanath to the elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also campaigned in the mountain state. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also hit the ground along with other top party leaders including Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel.
According to the Electoral Commission, a total of 7,881 polling stations were set up for today’s elections. Kangra District has a maximum of 1,625 polling stations while Lahaul-Spiti District has the lowest 92. There are 7,235 rural polling stations and 646 urban polling stations. Three additional polling stations were also established in Sidhbari (Dharamshala), Bara Bhangal (Baijnath) and Dhillon (Kasauli).
Major competitions include Seraj, where Prime Minister Jairam Thakur faces Congressman Chetram Thakur and AAP candidate Gita Nand Thakur. Mahinder Rana is the CPI-M candidate.
Congress leader Mukesh Agnihotri contesting his fifth election from the Haroli assembly segment in Una district where BJP fielded Ramkumar and AAP outplayed Ravinder Pal Singh Mann.
In Hamirpur, BJP’s Narinder Thakur is the main contender against Congress’s Pushpendra Verma and AAP’s Shushil Kumar Surroch.
Congress pitted Vikramaditya Singh, son of Shimla Rural’s former Prime Minister Virbhadra Singh, against BJP’s Ravi Mehta and AAP’s Prem Thakur.
Mandi hosts the fight between BJP candidate Anil Sharma and Congressional Champa Thakur. AAP put Shyam Lal in the seat.
Shimla Urban is one of the most talked about spots this time around as BJP gave a ticket to Sanjay Sood, who runs a tea shop in town.
Meanwhile, 67 Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) companies with 6,700 personnel and 15 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) companies have been deployed to hold free and fair assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh.
In addition, 50,000 government employees were transferred to election service. Up to 25,000 police officers are stationed across the state.
National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) teams of 800 personnel were also dispatched.
In 2017, the BJP swept the Himachal polls, capturing 44 of the 68 total seats, while Congress gained only 21 seats.