Counting begins in Haryana, HP, Punjab bypolls

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Chandigarh, May 25 (UNI) Counting began this morning for the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat in Himachal Pradesh, three assembly seats of Adampur, Indri and Gohana in Haryana and Amritsar (South) assembly seat in Punjab, amid tight security.

According to official reports, the counting was progressing peacefully in all the places.

The counting of votes for Hamirpur Parliamentary Constituency by-election held on May 22, is being taken up at Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Una and Dehra.

As many as 1100 officials including four Observers, 18 Returning Officers, Assistant Returning Officers have been deployed for the counting.

In Hamirpur, 50.79 per cent of the 11,72,944 voters had excercised their franchise to decide the fate of four candidates in fray, the main being BJP's Anurag Thakur, son of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, and OP Ratan of Congress. The other two candidates are PC Kaundal of Bahujan Shakti Party and independent candidate Amin Chand.

In Punjab's Amritsar (South) assembly seat, where around 52 to 55 per cent of 1,32,172 voters excercise their franchise, there are four candidates in fray with the main contest between the SAD-BJP nominee, Inderbir Singh and Navdeep Goldie of the Congress. The other two candidates are Bhai Ram Singh of the SAD (Amritsar) of Simranjit Singh Mann and Sharanjit Singh, an independent.

In Haryana, where over 75 per cent turnout was reported in the three assembly constituencies, the counting is going on peacefully.

Adampur, where 41 candidates are in fray, has emerged as the most important seat as former chief minister and now a Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) stalwart Bhajan Lal is pitted against former finance and INLD leader Sampat Singh, former deputy prime minister Devi Lal's son and Congress candidate Ranjit Singh and Bharatiya Janata Party's state unit's vice-president Swami Raghavanad.

In Indri, among the 13 aspirants, the prominent are HJC's Rakesh Kamboj, Congress candidate Bhimsen Mehta and INLD's Ashok Kashyap.

Gohana assembly seat is also witnessing a triangular contest among HJC's Dharmpal Malik, Congress candidate Jagbir Singh Malik and INLD's K C Bangad. There are 21 candidates in fray here.

UNI PS JN GL KN0841

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