The festival of democracy or polling day in Himachal Pradesh saw huge enthusiasm among voters with people thronging polling booths in traditional attire to exercise their franchise in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
From independent India’s first independent voter Shyam Saran Negi, people from all walks of life including senior citizens and first-time voters made it to the polling stations.
In Kullu district, a bridegroom inspired many by exercising his right to the franchise before leaving for the venue of his marriage.
The State Election Department’s arrangements for the aged and disabled paid rich dividends as most of them showed up to cast their votes.
The polling officials honoured senior citizens and young voters at polling stations and disabled voters were facilitated by the district administration with flowers.
The selfie points at polling stations were also a huge hit among voters who made a beeline to click their photographs after casting their votes.
Even the world’s highest polling station, Tashigang in Lahaul Spiti district, located at an altitude of 15,525 feet (4650 metres) above sea level amidst snow clad mountains witnessed enthusiasm among voters, an Election department official said.
The temperature was below freezing point when the polling began in the morning but this didn’t deter voters who came out in traditional attire to vote. The polling station has been set up to facilitate 49 voters of Tashigang and Gete village located just 10 km from Indo-China border in Spiti Valley.
After the setting up of a polling station for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Tashigang has replaced Hikkim (14,567 feet), a village located 56 km from Kaza sub-division of Lahaul Spiti district as the world’s highest polling booth.
Tashigang, located at a distance of 35 km from Kaza sub-division of Lahaul Spiti district, is the highest village in Spiti valley and the high altitude results in lack of oxygen and vegetation.
Snags in EVMs delayed voting at nine polling stations in Shimla, Mandi and Sirmaur districts but the voting was soon resumed as officials replaced the faulty EVMs.
The election department had also made arrangements for webcasting at 776 booths in the state to monitor and ensure free and fair elections.
A total of 7730 polling stations were set up in four parliamentary constituencies of Shimla (SC reserve), Mandi, Kangra and Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh to facilitate 53.30 lakh voters.