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With turnout nearing 50 pc, Himachal sees brisk voting in four LS seats

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With turnout nearing 50 pc, Himachal sees brisk voting in four LS seats

Shimla, June 1 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh on Saturday recorded 48.63 per cent polling by 1 p.m. for four parliamentary seats, while for bypoll in six Assembly seats, the polling percentage was 43.10.

A total of 57.11 lakh voters will cast their votes till 6 p.m.

The prominent Lok Sabha candidates in the fray include Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur, former Union Minister Anand Sharma, Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut and Public Works Department Minister Vikramaditya Singh, who are contesting the Lok Sabha elections.

The voter turnout in the state during the parliamentary poll was 80.1 per cent in 2019, and Mandi recorded the highest polling at 82.3 per cent, followed by Kangra at 80.9 per cent and Hamirpur and Shimla (reserved) at 79.9 per cent.

BJP national President J. P. Nadda and his wife Mallika Nadda were the first voters to cast their votes in a polling station at their native place in the Bilaspur district.

“I was the first voter at this polling booth. I appeal to all voters to vote in large numbers for a self-reliant India,” Nadda said after casting his vote.

Taking on X, Nadda wrote: “As the #LokSabha2024 election reaches its final phase, I appeal to all my brothers and sisters, especially the young voters, to exercise their democratic rights and actively participate in the electoral process.”

“Your single vote has the strength to establish a government that gives direction to the dream of ‘Viksit Bharat’ and also prioritises national interest, development, as well as the well-being of all citizens, ensuring a brighter future and inclusive growth for every section of society.”

“Step out and cast your vote to help make the festival of democracy a success,” he urged.

Union Minister and BJP candidate from the Hamirpur seat, Anurag Thakur cast his vote along with two-time Chief Minister and his father Prem Kumar Dhumal and other family members at Hamirpur.

“Our vote is for the progress, prosperity, stability and continuity of the country, for a developed India,” Thakur said. The Congress has fielded former legislator Satpal Singh Raizada from the Hamirpur seat.

After casting her vote at her native Bhambla village in Mandi district, Kangana Ranaut appealed: “Urge all voting in the last phase of Lok Sabha elections to come out and vote in massive numbers and become a part of our vibrant festival of democracy.”

Donning traditional dress, Lahaul-Spiti Deputy Commissioner Rahul Jain cast in Kaza town.

Likewise, people clad in traditional attire arrived to cast their votes at the world’s highest polling station in Tashigang, located in the Spiti Valley at an altitude of 15,256 feet.

In the Churah subdivision of Chamba district, residents in the Makhan-Chachul area falling under the Sanval gram panchayat boycotted the Lok Sabha polls over their demand for proper road connectivity and electricity supply.

A total of 37 candidates are in the fray for the four Lok Sabha seats of Mandi, Kangra, Hamirpur and Shimla (reserved), while 25 candidates are contesting the six by-elections in Dharamsala, Gagret, Kutlehar, Sujanpur, Barsar and Lahaul and Spiti constituencies.

The bypoll was necessitated as the seats fell vacant due disqualification of the legislators, all of the Congress, for defying the party whip while passing the state budget.

The BJP gave tickets to all six Congress rebels, who had supported the party in the Rajya Sabha polls. The rebel Congress leaders — Sudhir Sharma from Dharamsala, Rajinder Rana from Sujanpur, Ravi Thakur from Lahaul-Spiti, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal from Barsar, Chaitanya Sharma from Gagret and Devender Bhutto from Kutlehar.


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