Polling begins for Mandi LS and three Assy by election in Himachal

Polling started for bye election in Himachal Pradesh for Mandi Lok Sabha and Arki, Fatehpur and Jubbal-Kotkhai assembly seats today. 
State Chief Electoral Officer C. Palrasu informed that polling began at 0800hrs on Saturday which is running peacefully. He said that total of 2484 polling stations and 312 auxiliary polling stations have been set up for by-polls. In the by-elections, 50 percent of polling stations will be connected through web-casting. He said this facility will be available in 1383 polling stations out of the total 2796 polling stations set up for the bye-elections. 48 declared very sensitive, 267 sensitive and 2481 general category polling booths.

Tashigang Monastery in tribal Lahaul Spiti district about 15265 feet from the sea level is world’s highest polling station in Mandi Lok Sabha where 47 voters would cast their votes. 57-Shakti under Banjar Assembly in Kullu district(Mandi LS) is toughest/hardest polling station where polling parities may have to travel around 24 km by foot to conduct the polling

A total of 18 candidates are in the fray, including twelve for three assembly seats and six for the Mandi Lok Sabha seat. A tight contest is expected between the ruling BJP and Congress party on all seats except the Jubbal-Kotkhai assembly seat, where rebel BJP candidate Chetan Singh Bragta contends on an independent ticket.

Being the home district of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Mandi parliamentary seat is expected to be the hottest. From this parliamentary seat BJP has fielded  Kargil war hero Brigadier Khushal Singh Thakur against Congress  candidate Pratibha Singh who is wife former  chief minister late Virbhadra Singh.

Total 1,550,556 voters including service voters are eligible to cast their vote including 1,299756 in Mandi( including660743 male and 639013 female and five others) , 87,222 in Fatehpur ( 44665 male and 42557 female)92609 in Arki ( 47189 male and 45420 female) and 70,969 in Jubbal and Kotikahi( 35329 male and 35636 female).

Addition to this as many as 38305 first time voters between age group of 18 -19 yrs would cast their vote including 20502 male, 17802 female and one other. 40 polling station dedicated to women voter as two polling station in each assembly constituency .

India’s first voter to be escorted to polling station Kalpa.India’s first voters Master Shyam Saran Negi(106) who covered all the general and assembly bypoll held after 1952 recently got both the dose of Covid vaccine would turn up at Kalpa Polling station in Kinnuar to caste vote for Mandi LS bye poll . 
To make Himachal Pradesh all user friendly special arrangement made to 18054 special able voters including 3407 visually impaired, 2382 of speech and hearing , 8669 locomotive impaired, 4667 others spatial voters. Three special polling station were dedicated to special abled . 36 ideal polling station are also set up where water, toilet and resting facility would be provided to elderly people having space for children to stay while their parents would caste vote.

Director General of Police, Himachal Pradesh, Sanjay Kundu said that Tight security arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct , 17 companies of central para military forces, 6000 police and 2539 home guard personnel  been deployed in the state.
Counting of votes for all seats will be held on the November, 2. The by-polls at the four seats were due as they fell vacant following the deaths of sitting members.

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