Heavy voter turnout in first phase of rural poll in Himachal

Voters at Dummi near Shimla brave cold weather to cast their votes Pic by: Amit Kanwar

Shimla: An overcast sky and cold winds blowing did not have much impact on voter turnout as moderate to heavy polling was reported from most panchayats that went to poll, Tuesday, the first phase of the three phase election.

Preliminary data with the state election control room showed that polling in Kalpa block of Kinnaur district was 65.34 % and in Nichar block it was 66.97 percent.

In Sirmaur district the turnout was 86.7 in Poanta Sahib block, 83.23% in Pachaad, 88.23% in Shillai and 85% in Sangrah.

Deputy commissioner Shimla JS Rana said that polling was peaceful in the district. Polling recorded in Narkanda block was 76%, Mashobra 68%, Chopal 77.8%, Nankhari and Theog 80%, Chowara block 83%, Jubbal 82.4% Basantpur 73.44%, Rohru 83.47%, Rampur and in Dodra Kawar blocks it was 78% each.

Polling that started early at 7 a.m. closed by 3 p.m. and counting for panchayat pradhan (president) and up-pradhan (vice-president) as well as panches (ward members) followed soon after so as to declare the results by late evening (Tuesday),’ said Sharabh Negi.

Vote count for panchayat samitis members and zila parishads would be held Jan 4, he added. In the first phase polling for 1,091 panchayats was held today.

There were as many as 2877 polling station set up for phase I and a force of 10,334 polic and 4,727 home guard personnel had been deployed for the peaceful conduct of the election to panchayats and urban local bodies.

The second phase poll is scheduled for 30 December, for which 2,714 polling stations would be set up an the third phase scheduled for 1st January, 2463 polling stations would be utilized.

Of the total 8054 polling stations, 706 were declared hyper-sensitive and 1574 as sensitive. No elections are taking place in Lahaul valley and not taking place in Lahaul and Pangi sub-division of Chamba district.

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