Shimla: Logistics of holding a winter poll has made the election department use helicopters to set up polling stations in snowbound and land locked valleys.
Today a helicopter sortie was flown into remote land locked Bara-Bhangal so as to place poll staff and material for the 45 voters who reside there in the over 9000 feet altitude snowbound hamlet.
â€œFor the first time in the election history of the state polling party, polling material were successfully airlifted today from Dharamshala to a landlocked hamlet of Baijnath assembly constituency in Kangra district, Manisha Nanda, Chief Electoral Officer, Himachal Pradesh disclosed.
“An observer and the additional district magistrate of Kangra accompanied the polling party to Bara Bhangal, which is situated at height of 9,000 feet, she added.
A spare electronic voting machine has also been sent to the remote location to train the voters about handling of the machine, said Nanda. As most of the voters from the hamlet have migrated to Bir at a lower elevation, 45 electors who have chosen to stay back for the winter will vote on 19th December. After holding the poll, the party would be flown back on 20th December.
Yesterday, the election department had flown three sorties to man 7 polling stations in Dodra Kawar sub-division of Rohru constituency where 3920 voter will exercise their franchise for a constituency represented by chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
To enable voters residing on an island in Pong Dam reservoir, the election department is using boats for setting up a poll station there
For the second phase of election there are 324 candidates in the fray for the 65 seats, which has an registered electorate of 44,77,254 voters.
Where as BJP has fielded candidates in all 65 seats, congress has had to do with only 64 for one congress candidates papers were quashed after scrutiny day. The BSP has put up 52 candidates, the Lok Jan Shakti 38 seats and CPI(M) and CPI have seven candidatexs each.
The first phase of elections entailed polling for 3 high altitude constituencies of Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Bharmaur and was held on 14th November.
Counting for all 68 seats is scheduled to held on 28th December, morning.