HP tribal constituencies record 52 per cent polling

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Shimla, Nov 14 (UNI) Three tribal assembly constituencies of Kinnuar, Lahaul Spiti and Bharmaur in Himachal Pradesh have recorded more than 52 per cent polling so far, state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Manisha Nanda said.

Riding on high voter turnout between 1100 hrs and 1500 hrs, the tribal constituencies recorded more than 52 per cent polling till 1530 hrs, she told UNI here.

Ms Nanda said while 55 per cent electorate had exercised their franchise in the Kinnuar constituency, 52 per cent in Bharmaur and 51 per cent polling had been recorded in the Lahaul Spiti constituency.

The polling was slow in the Spiti Valley where about 47 per cent of the electorate had cast their votes as against 55 per cent in the Lahaul Valley, she said.

The CEO said the polling was by and large peaceful across the tribal region where minimum temperatures were being recorded below freezing point.

About 25 per cent of the electorate had exercised their franchise by noon following a low voter turnout in the first hour and Election Commission officials said long queues were seen outside the polling booths as the day progressed.

Earlier, the polling began on a sedate note in all the three tribal segments as biting cold prevented the local people from venturing out to cast their votes.

However, the pace of the voting picked up after the first hour during which only nine per cent people had cast their votes.

Twelve candidates are in the fray for the three tribal seats, elections for which are being held ahead of the remaining 65 assembly constituencies for the first time in the state's history.

Polling for the remaining 65 assembly constituencies would be held in the second phase on December 19.

As many as 1,27,785 voters, including 65,883 man and 61,902 women, constitute the electorate for the three tribal constituencies.

Tight security arrangements have been made for the polling in the three constituencies and about 2,000 security personnel have been deployed for ensuring free and fair elections.

A three-tier fully operational communication network has been made available to the polling staff and the telephone service providers have been asked to provide congestion free access to the tribal areas where over 100 polling booths, out of a total of 298 booths, are at a height ranging from 8,500 to 15,000 ft.

UNI

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