Preparations complete for polling in HP

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Shimla, Dec 18 (UNI) All security arrangements have been made for the second and final phase of polling in the remaining 65 constituencies of Himachal Pradesh where elections are to be held tomorrow.

The polling, which will begin at 0800 hrs and close at 1700 hrs, would decide the fate of 335 candidates who are in fray for the 65 assembly seats.

While state Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is contesting elections from Rohru constituency, the BJP's chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal was in the fray from Bamsan constituency in Hamirpur district.

As many as 44,179,15 voters, including 22,280,65 men and 21,89,850 women would cast their votes in the second phase tomorrow.

An election commission spokesman said 5,912 polling booths, including 1,088 sensitive and 640 hyper sensitive have been set for up across 10 districts of the state.

The highest polling booth at Tepa in Banikhet constituency was located at a height of 12,000 feet, while some booths in Bara Bhangal area of Baijnath constituency in Kangra district were located at height of 9000 to 9500 ft and election staff and poll material has been airlifted to these areas.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Manisha Nanda said all arrangements had been completed and men and material have reached the polling booths.

About 25,000 personal and supporting security staff had been deployed to ensure free and fair polls in the entire state.

The BJP was contesting all 65 seats, while the BSP and the Congress have fielded candidates on 64 seats.

The LJP and Samajwadi Party have fielded 39 and 12 candidates respectively, while 58 independents, including more than a dozen rebels of Congress and the BJP, were also in the fray.

UNI

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