Presidential poll voting ends in Himachal

Shimla: Polling for the presidential election ended peacefully in the BJP-ruled Himachal Pradesh Thursday with 67 legislators in the 68-seat assembly casting their votes.

The polling that began at 10 a.m. ended in the afternoon, said an election official.

The presidential poll is a direct contest between the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Pranab Mukherjee, holding a clear winning edge, and the Bharatiya Janata Party-backed P.A. Sangma.

Transport Minister Mohinder Thakur was the first to cast the vote in Dr. Y.S. Parmar Library Hall of the state legislative assembly here.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal along with his cabinet colleagues and chief parliamentary secretaries exercised their franchise almost simultaneously.

The election official said 67 legislators cast their votes. “There was one vacancy following the resignation of J.P. Nadda from the assembly after being elected to the Rajya Sabha,” he added.

The ruling BJP has 42 members, whereas the opposition Congress has a strength of 23 in the 68-member assembly. There are three Independents.

The hill state has seven members of Parliament — three in the Rajya Sabha and four in the Lok Sabha. Except one Lok Sabha parliamentarian Virbhadra Singh, all others belonged to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

IANS

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