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60% voting in Himachal Pradesh
May 10, 2004 21:18 IST
An estimated 60 per cent voters cast their ballot to decide the fate of 23 candidates for four Lok Sabha seats in the hill state where the electoral process was peaceful and incident-free.
However, electronic voting machines developed snag at about a dozen places causing delay in polling while the polling officer and his assistant of Lambagaon polling station in Kangra were found to be drunk. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate immediately replaced the polling staff and polling was resumed after some time.
The Mandi parliamentary constituency where Pratibha Singh, wife of Chief Minister V B Singh is facing BJP stalwart Maheshwar Singh, recorded heavy polling of 65 per cent while Shimla (reserve) parliamentary constituency recorded low polling of 50-53 per cent.
The Kangra parliamentary constituency and adjoining Hamirpur constituency recorded about 57 to 61 per cent polling with some of the assembly segments in Nurpur area recording up to 65 per cent polling.
Former union minister Shanta Kumar, state forest minister Chander Kumar, Industries Minister Ram Lal Thakur and former state BJP president Suresh Chandel are the prominent candidates in the fray.
All the 214 voters of Sarahan in Kumarsein assembly segment of Shimla parliamentary constituency and all 350 voters of Khelera booth in Kullu district boycotted the polls to protest against neglect of developmental works.
About 67 per cent women and 57 per cent men exercised their franchise in tribal Kaza valley while Shimla town recorded the lowest polling of 37 per cent.
Chief Electoral Officer Manisha Nanda said some machines, which developed snags were immediately removed and polling progressed smoothly.Counting would be taken up at 37 counting centres on May 13 and all the results are expected by night.