Nine per cent polling in first two hours in HP

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Shimla, Nov 14 (UNI) Polling began on a dull note in three tribal assembly constituencies of Kinnuar, Lahaul Spiti and Bharmaur in Himachal Pradesh where about nine per cent of the electorate had exercised their right to franchise during the first two hours.

State's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Manisha Nanda told UNI that about 12 per cent electorate had caste their votes in Bharmaur constituency, eight per cent in Lahaul Spiti and about five per cent in Kinnaur constituencies where elections are being held in the first phase today.

The voter turnout was the lowest in the Spiti Valley where about five per cent voters had cast their votes up till 1000 hrs, while 11 per cent electorate in Lahaul Valley had exercised their right to franchise during the first two hrs.

The biting cold in the tribal areas prevented the local people from venturing out of their homes to cast their votes and election officials said the voters came in a trickle during the first hour.

However, the pace of voting picked up after the first hour as local people queued outside the polling stations across the tribal region.

BJP's Lahaul Spiti candidate Ram Lal Markanday, who was at the Pimal polling station in Shakali panchayat of the district, told UNI that voting had picked in the district after the first hour.

There was no report of violence or bogus voting so far, election officials said.

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.


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