Second phase HP polls tomorrow

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Shimla, Dec 18 (UNI) Polling for the second and final phase of assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh in the remaining 65 constituencies will be held tomorrow, amid tight security.

All arrangements have been made for the poll process, which will begin at 0800 hrs and end at 1700 hrs. The crucial second phase of polling will decide the fate of 335 candidates, including Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

The Chief Minister is contesting from the Rohru constituency, while BJP's chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal is in the fray from the Bamsan seat in Hamirpur district.

As many as 44,179,15 voters, including 22,280,65 men and 21,89,850 women, would exercise their franchise in the polls.

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

The highest polling booth at Tepa in Banikhet constituency is located at a height of 12,000 feet, while some booths in Bara Bhangal area of Baijnath constituency in Kangra district are located at high altitudes of 9000 to 9500 ft. Election staff and poll material have been airlifted to these areas.

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

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

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

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

UNI

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