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HP bypolls: 57 per cent voting recorded for Mandi LS seat, 3 assembly segments

State Chief Electoral Officer C Palrasu said the polling began with slow pace in the morning but later picked up pace amid peaceful circumstances with no incidents of law and order violation or any major snag in the EVMs reported in the bypolls.

SNS | Shimla |

Himachal Pradesh on Saturday recorded 57 per cent polling till 5 pm in bypolls to the Mandi Lok Sabha seat and three assembly segments of Arki, Fatehpur and Jubbal Kotkhai.

The bypolls were necessitated due to the deaths of six-time CM and Arki MLA Virbhadra Singh, the two time MP from Mandi Lok Sabha seat Ramswaroop Sharma, Fatehpur MLA and former minister Sujan Singh Pathania and Jubbal Kotkhai MLA and ex-minister Narendra Bragta.

State Chief Electoral Officer C Palrasu said the polling began with slow pace in the morning but later picked up pace amid peaceful circumstances with no incidents of law and order violation or any major snag in the EVMs reported in the bypolls.

He told the media that the voting was held from 8 am to 5 pm with one hour reserved for polling by Covid patients in the constituencies, he added.

A state Election department official said the overall polling percentage stood at 57 per cent with Mandi Lok Sabha seat recording 49.83 per cent voting, Fatehpur assembly segment in Kangra district 62.40 per cent, Arki in Solan district at 61.33 per cent and Jubbal Kotkhai in Shimla district 66.10 per cent till 5 pm.

However, the final tally of percentage of total votes casted in the bypolls will be available by 8 pm, he added.

The independent India’s first voter Shyam Saran Negi casted his vote at Kalpa polling station in Kinnaur district.

He was accorded a red carpet welcome by the Election department and he was escorted in a special vehicle and was facilitated by Deputy Commissioner Kinnuar Apoorv Devgan and returning officer on arrival at the polling station.

The 104-year-old Shyam Saran Negi, the first voter of independent India and he had participated in all general and Assembly Election since 1952 onwards as per the record of Election Commission of India.

Meanwhile, the voters of three panchayats of Rarang, Akpa and Jangi boycotted the bypolls as a mark of protest against the Jangi Thopan hydro power project, which according to them was causing environment degradation and resulting in natural calamities in the tribal district.

A total of 2,484 polling stations and 312 auxiliary polling stations were set up for bypolls with 50 per cent of polling stations connected through web-casting and of these, 48 were declared very sensitive, 267 sensitive and 2,481 general category polling booths.

Tashigang in tribal Lahaul Spiti district is the world’s highest polling station where 47 voters would casted their votes while Shakti polling station in Banjar Assembly in Kullu district is toughest as there was no road connectivity and polling parties had to travel around 24 km by foot for polling.

18 candidates are in fray for bypolls with six candidates contesting bypolls in Mandi Lok Sabha seat, 3 in Arki assembly segment, 5 in Fatehpur and 4 in Jubbal Kotkhai constituency. The results of bypolls will be declared on 2 November.