Polling underway in three tribal seats of Himachal Pradesh

Shimla, Nov 14: Polling in three tribal constituencies of Kinnaur, Lahaul Spiti and Bharmour in Himachal Pradesh began this morning in the first phase of the two-phased assembly elections.

Polling will conclude at 5 p. m. at all 298 polling stations in the three constituencies.

During the first phase, around 1,27.785 voters are expected to decide the fate of 12 candidates in these three constituencies.

This time, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will face tough competition from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Besides these three major parties, candidates include nominees from the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and one independent.

Tight security arrangements have been made for the 68-member State Assembly polls.

Police and para-military personnel have been pressed into service to ensure free and fair polls.

One company of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and around 1,100 policemen including home guards has been deployed in all sensitive areas to avoid untoward incidents.

A wireless network linking 298 polling stations has been set up and the highest polling booth -Hikkam, at a height of 15,000 feet, in Spiti has been connected by wireless.

All 43 helipads in the state have been operationalised to work in an emergency.

The second phase of polling in 65 constituencies will take place on December 19.

The electoral process for second phase will begin on November 23. Counting of votes will take place on December 28. The term of the current State Assembly is till March 9, 2008. (ANI)

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