Himachal Gears Up For Poll Under Freezing Conditions

Shimla: Overcast conditions did lower day temperatures here as the election department successfully deployed about 40,000 polling staff for conduct of the election to the 65 assembly seats that go to the poll on Wednesday.

With temperatures hovering around the freezing point in some regions, should day-break bring about a snowfall, polling process could be hindered in as many as 576 polling stations spread over 6 districts and polling turnout projections could be hit.

However, chief election commissioner, Gopalaswami had assured that a contingency plan was in place for the 245 polling booths in Shimla district, 123 in Mandi district, 89 is Sirmaur, 83 in Chamba, 28 in Kullu and 8 poll booths in Kangra district that could be affected by bad weather conditions.

Giving details of the elaborate arrangements made for conduct of a free and fair poll chief electoral officer, Manisha Nanda said the polling station with maximum height was Tepa at 12000 feet in Rajnagar constituency of Chamba district where as the one with the minimum height was Nalti at 700 feet in Hamirpur constituency.

She said that 40,000 polling personnel which include polling parties, security and transport personnel had been deployed in the 65 assembly constituencies for conduct of the poll.

In a voter list of 44,77,335, there were 22,05,910 female electors, said Nanda. Of the 324 candidates in the fray, 25 were women candidates, she added. About 87 percent of the voters had possessed Electors Photo Identity Cards (EPICs), she said.

She said that there were 838 voters of the age who were centurions and another 8005 voters who were more than 90 years old.

The election department has set up auxiliary polling stations at “Sath Kuthera” in Jawali constituency. The 66 voters there live in a island village in Pong Dam reservoir area and the polling men and material has been sent there through Boat. Taleru polling station in Banikhet has only 24 voters, said Nanda.

District wise there are 543247 voters in Shimla district, 323965 in Solan, 308897 voters in Sirmour, 270375 voters in Bilaspur, 354224 voters in Hamirpur, 362519 voters in Una, 1080896 voters in Kangra, 321966 voters in Chamba, 270288 voters in Kullu and 696132 voters in Mandi district.

Polling for three tribal constituencies of Kinnaur, Lahul-Spiti and Bharmaur was held on November 14th and the counting for all the 68 assembly segments would be done on 28th December, said Nanda.

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