Elaborate arrangements have been made to ensure peaceful, free fair and smooth conduct of elections in the state. Stating this today, Chief Electoral Officer Pushpendra Rajput said that 7,525 polling parties were constituted in the state and 37,605 polling personnel have been deputed for poll duty. He said that as many as 5025941 electors will exercise their franchise in the election for 68 Assembly Constituencies on 9th November 2017 from 0800hrs to 1700 hrs. CEO said due to death of one contesting candidate in Barsar constituency of Hamirpur district, 337 candidates are in the fray for 68 Assembly Constituencies which include 318 male and 19 female candidates, besides 112 independent.
As many as 17,850 personnel of Police and Home Guards and 65 companies of central para-military force have been deployed, he added. He said 29 general, three police, 22 Expenditure Observers and 71 Assistant Expenditure Observers, 1,561 Micro Observers, besides, 193 Sector Magistrate and 789 Sectors officers have also been deployed throughout the state. He said webcasting would be used in 2,307 polling stations in the state for live monitoring of polling activities in the state by ECI.
BSP is contesting on 42 assembly segments, BJP 68, CPI 3, CPI (M) 14, INC 68, NCP 2, SP 2, Swabhiman Party 6, Lok Gathban Party 6, Rashtriay Azad Manch 4, Nav Bharat Ekta Dal one, Bhartiya Himachal Jan Vikas Party one, All India Manavadhikar Rajnaithik Dal one, Bahujan Mukti Party one, All India Forward Bloc two, Samaj Adhikar Kalyan Party two, Janral Samaj Party one and Rashtravadi Pratap Sena on one seat.
He said that the state had 100 percent electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) holders and 7525 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) 7525 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) are being used for voting. VVPAT machines are being used for the first time in this Vidhan Sabha Election. 10 percent of total EVMs and VVPATs have been kept in reserve. The Election Commission has also allowed the electors to cast their vote by producing any one document out of the 12 identity documents.
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He said that 983 Polling Stations had been declared vulnerable and 399 as Critical to ensuring free and fair elections in the State. The maximum numbers of Vulnerable Polling Stations are 297 in Kangra District, minimum two in Kinnaur District, he added. He said the Hikkim polling station in Lahaul and Spiti Assembly Constituency is situated at the maximum height of 14567 feet having 194 voters.
He said that Ghaluwal polling station of 43-Haroli Assembly Constituency is situated at the minimum height of 328 feet having 985 electors. CEO said Himachal has 7,34,522 electors between the age of 18 to 25 year, 17,89,935 between the age of 25 to 40, 16,42,086 between 40 to 60 years and 8,21,824 above the age of 60 years.
He further said that Sullah Assembly Constituency in Kangra District has highest 96145 electors in the State and Lahaul & Spiti assembly constituency had the minimum 23,231 electors in the State. He said that 100 years old Shyam Saran from Kalpa is the oldest voter in the State. He was among the first to vote after Independence in the 1951 election.
He said that in Ka Polling Station of Kinnaur Assembly Constituency has minimum 6 electors whereas Gukul polling station of Kasauli Assemble Constituency of Solan district has maximum 1390 electors. Shakti polling station in 24-Banjar Assembly Constituency of Kullu district has the maximum distance of 18 Km. on foot to be covered by polling parties. He said that Shakti Polling Station has 84 electors. He said that counting for all 68 Assembly constituencies would simultaneously start on 18th December 2017 at 2000 hrs sharp.
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