A day after polling dates were postponed by four days in flood-ravaged Kinnaur district, the Election Commission (EC) imposed a complete ban on the exit polls.
The chief electoral officer said here on Saturday that the EC had made amendment to its earlier notification regarding ban on exit polls. “Provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 126-A of the Representation of People Act, 1951, the EC notified the period between 8am on June 23 and 5.30pm on June 27 as the period during which conducting any exit poll, publication and dissemination of result of exit poll and publishing or publicising by means of print or electronic media for the Mandi parliamentary constituency byelection shall be prohibited,” he said.
In the wake of the devastation caused by floods, the EC has already postponed the date of polling in Kinnaur (ST) assembly segment from June 23 to June 27. The counting of votes will now take place on June 30.
The officer said elaborate arrangements had been made to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections in Mandi parliamentary constituency. He said there were 10,72,425 electors in five districts, including Bharmour (ST) AC of Chamba district, Lahaul and Spiti, Kullu, Mandi and Rampur (SC) AC of Shimla district would cast their vote on June 23.
He said Bharmour (ST) assembly constituency had 65,686 voters, Lahual and Spiti had 22,513 voters, Kullu district had 2.72 lakh voters, Mandi district had 6.44 lakh voters and Rampur (SC) had 67,321 voters.
He said 1,921 polling stations had been established and elaborate arrangements had been made for smooth functioning of election process by deputing sufficient number of polling personnel besides proper security arrangements in the state.
Of 1,921 polling stations, 137 were in Bharmour AC, 89 in Lahual and Spiti, 474 in Kullu, 967 in Mandi and 136 in Rampur AC. He said 256 polling stations had been declared sensitive and 82 hypersensitive to ensure free and fair elections and 1,583 were ordinary.
“There are four candidates in the fray. Elaborate security arrangements are also being made to maintain law and order during poll process. Besides home guards and central force, 7,684 polling personnel have been deputed and about 10% personnel have been kept as reserves,” he said.
Joginder Nagar assembly constituency has 86,495 voters, the highest in the constituency, while Lahaul and Spiti (ST) assembly constituency has the least, 22,513.
Hikkam is the highest polling station at a height of 14,567 feet in Lahaul and Spiti assembly, while Dehar of Sundernagar assembly constituency is the lowest at a height of 1,600 feet to cater to 991 electors.
The officer said Joginder Nagar assembly constituency had 42,844 female voters, maximum of all, while Lahaul and Spiti had 11,030 female voters, the lowest.