Shimla: As polling in Himachal Pradesh began on Saturday amid tight security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the voters of the hill state to enthusiastically participate in the “festival of democracy” in the context of assembly elections and set a new voting record. In a tweet, PM Modi also greeted the young voters who will exercise their franchise for the first time.
Today is the polling day for all the assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh. I request all the prejudice of Devbhoomi to participate enthusiastically in this festival of democracy and create a new record of voting. My special preferences to all the youth of the state who have voted for the first time on this occasion. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 12, 2022
The people of the hill state are voting today to elect a new government, where the incumbent BJP and the opposition Congress are in a face-off to form the next government. Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur also urged voters to come out in large numbers and participate enthusiastically in the “festival of democracy”.
He said that every vote would help in building a prosperous Himachal Pradesh. In a tweet in Hindi, he said, “Vote first, then refreshment. Dear people of the state, today is polling day. My humble request to all voters of Himachal Pradesh to participate in this festival of democracy with full enthusiasm.”
First of all
I humbly request all the coordinators of Himachal to participate in this great festival of democracy with full enthusiasm.
Over 55 lakh voters in Himachal Pradesh will exercise their franchise on Saturday to vote for the 68-member assembly in one phase, which began at 8 am and will go on till 5 pm. Out of 412 candidates, 24 are women and 388 are men.
A total of 55,92,828 voters will elect their representatives. Of them, 193,106 are first-time voters in the age group of 18-19 years.
There are 121,409 voters above the age of 80, while 56,501 are others with disabilities.
The main contest is between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. Facing anti-incumbency, the BJP leadership under Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur seems to be counting on the “charisma” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while the main opposition Congress is banking on its 2.5-lakh-strong government employees, the state’s crucial vote bank, old With the promise of restoring the pension scheme.
The senior leadership of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is in the fray in the assembly elections for the first time, is missing from the state and its leaders are focusing on consolidating their vote bank in yet another electoral Gujarat.
In the 2017 assembly elections, BJP won 44 seats, Congress 21, CPM one and Independents won two seats. The voter turnout was 75.57 percent. The votes cast on Saturday will be counted on December 8.
Several teams of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) comprising 6,700 personnel and 15 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) companies have been deployed to conduct free and fair assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh. In addition, around 50,000 government employees have been put on election duty and 25,000 police officers have also been deployed across the state. 800 personnel have also been deployed in teams of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF).