Around 26% votes were castin 16 assembly segments for today's bypoll to Mandi Lok Sabha seat in Himachal Pradesh till 1 pm. The polling started on a dull note with 7 to 10% electorate casting their votes in the first two hours but it touched 17% by 11 am. The polling was moderate during the day and 26% voters had cast their vote by 1 pm, state election department officials said.
The tribal Lahual and Spiti constituency reports highest polling of 40% while Darang assembly segment recorded lowest polling of 14%. The polling in rain ravaged Kinnaur segment has been deferred to June 27 while the counting of votes would take place on June 30 instead of June 27. Elaborate arrangements have been made to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections and 10,72,425 electors of five districts would cast vote tomorrow, while 52,360 voters of Kinnaur would exercise their franchise on June 27, Chief Electoral Officer, Narendra Chauhan said.
A total of 1,921 polling stations have been established which included 137 in Bharmour, 89 in Lahual and Spiti, 474 in Kullu district, 967 in Mandi district and 136 in Rampur. 256 polling stations have been included in sensitive and 82 in the hypersensitive category, he said.
Congress candidate Pratibha Singh, wife of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, is pitted against former BJP minister Jai Ram Thakur in a five-cornered contest, with three independent candidates in the fray.