Shimla/Manali/Hamirpur/Palampur, Nov.4 (ANI): A moderate 30 percent polling was recorded till noon on Sunday in elections for the 68-member Himachal Pradesh State Assembly.
Polling began on a dull note on Sunday morning due to the cold weather conditions.
The minimum temperature was hovering around freezing point in Chopal in Shimla, one media report said.
No untoward incident was reported by election officials.
They said that the average voting was below eight percent in the first hour, but it crossed to 18 percent by 10 a.m. The poll percentage in the last election was 71.61 percent.
A 25 to 30 percent turn out was reported from lower areas of Kangra, Hamirpur, Una and Bilaspur till noon, some polling booths in Palampur, Nagrota and Hamirpur recorded 45 to 50 percent voting.
In Shimla district, 30 percent polling was reported in Rampur, 28 percent in Rohroo, 33 percent in Theog and 22 percent in Jubbal, while it was 22 percent in Shimla town.
At present 42 0f the 68 State Assembly seats are with the BJP.
Over 16,000 security personnel were deployed at more than 7,000 polling stations of the state.
“I am very happy to have cast my vote. I hope our votes go to the right candidate and a good government is formed,” said Nitu Dogra, a local voter.
The rampant corruption seems to have surpassed the anti-incumbency factor.
The BJP and the Congress are contesting all 68 seats, while the BSP has fielded 66 candidates followed by Himachal Lokhit Party (36), Trinamool Congress (25), Samajwadi Party (16), Communist Party if India- Marxist (15), National Congress Party and Swabhiman Party (12 each), Communist Party of India (7), Shiv Sena (4) and 105 Independents.
Voters also gathered in large numbers at the polling booths in the state’s picturesque Manali town and cast their votes.
The same trend was seen in the neighbouring Kullu region where voters gathered with their voter ID cards to cast their votes.
Local leaders also expressed their happiness over the good turnout of voters in the region and are hoping for favourable results.
“Our agents are present at every polling station. Right now our workers are quite upbeat about this whole thing, and there has been a good turnout at all the polling stations,” said Sundar Thakur, a local leader from the ruling Congress party.
Voters also gathered to cast their votes in Palampur where among the lot was main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shanta Kumar also arrived to cast his vote.
While talking to mediapersons, the BJP leader said he is optimistic that people would re-elect their government to power again.
“We are contesting the elections with all our beliefs and also casting our votes as well. We believe that the people of Himachal will once again form our government here,” said Kumar.
The counting of votes is scheduled to take place on December 20.
The BJP is making several attempts to seek another term for Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Prem Kumar Dhumal, who is leading the campaign.
Congress leader Virbhadra Singh, who was also five times Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, would contest from Shimla (rural). (ANI)