Himachal Pradesh elections: As the day progressed, voter turnout reached 55% in Himachal Pradesh around 3.00 pm. Seraj saw the maximum voter turnout, where around 70% of voters cast their vote. Whereas, Bhoranj saw the lowest where 45% of people cast their vote. Around 55.92 lakh voters will decide the fate of 412 candidates fielded by the two major parties Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress for 68 assembly constituencies in the single-phase polls.
While ruling BJP has expressed confidence of serving the people of Himachal Pradesh, the Congress is expecting that the people might give them a chance and stick to their tradition of alternate governments.
Stage all set
There are 7,884 polling booths across Himachal Pradesh where the voting has started and will end at 5pm. Around 7,235 stations are in the rural regions, while 646 are in urban areas. Three auxiliary polling stations are in far flung areas by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for the ease of voters.
To smoothly conduct the polling process, as many as 30,000 security personnel including 67 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have been deployed in the state. Besides, 25,000 state police officers have been deployed. Teams from the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) comprising 800 personnel have been posted to avoid any untoward incident or clash.
Voting concluded for the 68 assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh at 5pm. EVMs and VVPATs are being sealed and secured at polling booths in Dharamshala and Shimla. Results will be out on December 8.
51 out of 52 voters voted in the world's highest polling station booth in Tashigang, Himachal Pradesh. 98.08% voter turnout has.
Record turnout was seen at Dhanderwadi, the remotest village of Shimla where most women came out to cast their vote. Overall, the highest turnout was recorded in Mandi, the home district of CM Thakur, EC data shows.
The overall turnout is as follows:
Lahaul & Spiti: 21.95%
The voter turnout reached 37.19 per cent in Himachal Pradesh till 1.00 pm, according to ECI. Mandi continued to be the district with the maximum voters turnout. Around 41.17 per cent voters cast their vote in Mandi. Whereas, 21.95 per cent people cast their vote in Lahaul and Spiti
BJP Party chief JP Nadda while expressing his confidence that BJP would change the trend in Himachal Pradesh, said that the people of Himachal Pradesh want the government to get repeated. He said people have decided to change the tradition because the development in the last 5 years can be seen upfront. Nadda, along with his family reached Vijaypur in Bilaspur to cast his vote for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections. "With the kind of atmosphere I'm seeing since morning, I think people have zeal and that zeal is over something right. I request people to cast vote in large numbers," Nadda said.
A look at world’s highest polling station at 15,256 ft at Tashigang (Lahaul & Spiti). The model Polling stations were made to make voting easy for senior citizens and disabled voters.
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar facilitated the elderly voters in the state and said youth should draw inspiration from them.
"I salute 1.2 lakh voters in the state who are above 80 years of age. Drawing inspiration from them, youth gets the opportunity to go ahead. We pay tribute to late Shyam Saran Negi, it will be a fitting tribute to him to cast votes in large numbers," CEC Rajiv Kumar said.
Situated at 15,256 feet, the polling station in Tashigang in Lahaul-Spiti is the world's highest polling and will cater to 52 voters. It has been made a Model Polling station to make voting easy for senior citizens and disabled voters. Lahaul-Spiti district has 92 polling stations, the lowest in the state. The polling officers said that beating all odds and bad roads, polling personnel made it possible to set up polling booths well in time across the state.
Voter turnout increased to 17.98% by 11 am in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections 2022, according to ECI. As per its data available on EC's Voter Turnout application, around 21.92% voters caste their vote in Mandi till 11 am. This was the highest turnout in the state. Whereas, Lahaul and Spiti recorded the lowest voter turnout rate of 5 per cent.
The Election Commission of India prohibited the release of any sort of exit or opinion poll on the Himachal Pradesh Elections and Gujarat Elections from 12 November to 5 December. The poll panel issued a notification on Thursday prohibiting the publication of exit-poll projections in any print and electronic media will be prohibited from 8 am on November 12 and 5 pm on December 5.
The ruling BJP has so far tried to woo voters in Himachal Pradesh on its development agenda. The saffron party has promised implementation of the Uniform Civil Code and eight lakh jobs in the state, besides scooties to college going girls and cycles to school girls belonging to weaker sections. In 2017, BJP swept the Himachal polls, winning 44 of the total 68 seats while Congress managed to get just 21 seats.
Speaking about BJP chief ministerial candidate, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said: We're contesting under the leadership of CM Jairam Thakur. Himachal Govt did good work under his leadership for 5 yrs. So, we're confident that the people will bless us once again so that the double-engine govt comes back.
On the other hand, AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said people should vote for the better future of their children.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted that Himachal Pradesh will vote for employment, OPS, and ‘Har Ghar Lakshmi’. He also gave a clarion call to all the voters to participate in large numbers in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections 2022.
Congress party has is aggressively campaigned for the upcoming Assembly polls for the change in power in the state, with all the star campaigners including the party’s general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Apart from holding a huge “‘Vijay Ashirwad Rally” on Friday in all 68 assembly constituencies simultaneously, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also held a door-to-door campaign in Shimla.
The Election Commission of India has set up the world's highest polling station, Lahaul Spiti, for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022 on Saturday. As of now, the voter count stood at 1.56 per cent at Lahaul Spiti till 9:00 am. Total voter turnout stood at 5.02 per cent till 9 am.
Former Himachal Pradesh CM Prem Kumar Dhumal, his son and Union Minister Anurag Thakur, and their family cast their votes.
BJP vs Congress
If we go by the numbers, the last six assembly elections pattern shows that Congress has been losing its grip on the state. In 2017, BJP won 48.79 per cent vote share, whereas Congress won 41.46 per cent.
The Himachal Assembly had the highest tally of 52 Congress legislative members in 1993. In contrast, its tally was the lowest at 21 during the last assembly election, which happened in 2017.
BJP’s, on the other hand, the best performance was in 2017, when it secured its largest-ever tally of 44. Its lowest tally was six in 1993. The vote percentage of Congress has ranged from 39 per cent (in 2007) to 49 per cent (1993) whereas the vote share of the BJP has ranged from 35 per cent (2003) to 49 per cent (2017).
From BJP, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur is the leading face against Mukesh Agnihotri of the Congress. The key seats to look at are Seraj, Haroli, Mandi, Shimla Rural, and Hamirpur. Chief Minister Thakur is contesting from Seraj, while Congress state chief Agnihotri is contesting from Haroli. Former CM Virbhadra Singh's son Vikramaditya Singh is trying his luck from Shimla Rural. Hamirpur is another key seat as it comes under the Hamir Pur Lok Sabha constituency which has been with the BJP since 1998. Union Minister Anurag Thakur is the sitting MP from Hamirpur.
Encouraging voters to enthusiastically participate in Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged them to make new records. In his tweet, PM Modi greeted the young voters who will be casting their vote for the first time.
Confident of a grand win. Feedback is great. Most importantly, people are casting their votes peacefully, CM Jairam Thakur said on Saturday.
Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Pratibha Singh and her son & party MLA Vikramaditya Singh cast their votes in Rampur, Shimla.
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