54% polling in rain-hit Kinnaur | india | Hindustan Times
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54% polling in rain-hit Kinnaur

india Updated: Jun 27, 2013 23:21 IST

Around 54% polling was recorded in the second phase of the Mandi bypoll in rain-ravaged Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday.

Chief electoral officer Narinder Chauhan said the voting concluded peacefully and no untoward incident was reported except at the Shalkhar polling booth, where residents boycotted the elections.

He said the weather remained partially cloudy and people came out to vote enthusiastically.
Chauhan said there were a total of 42,345 voters in Kinnaur assembly segment and Shyam Saran, 97, who exercised his franchise at the Kalpa polling booth, was the first post Independence voter of India.

The polling was rather sluggish in the morning and as per the reports that reached the headquarters, the polling percentage was 11% by 10am, which gained momentum after noon.
The Mandi seat witnessed a direct fight between Pratibha Singh, wife of chief minister Virbhadra Singh and Congress candidate, and sitting BJP legislator Jairam Thakur.

The election commission had postponed the voting in the landslide-hit Kinnaur district as it was cut-off from the rest of the state owing to torrential rains on June 16.

However, the polling in the remaining 16 constituencies of the Mandi parliamentary seat was held on June 23 and it recorded nearly 52% voter turnout.

The counting of votes will be held simultaneously on June 30.

The bypoll was necessitated after the chief minister relinquished the seat following his election to the state assembly in December 2012.

Mandi constituency, which includes Kullu, Mandi and some areas of Chamba and Shimla districts, besides the tribal-dominated assembly constituencies of Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti, is one of the biggest in the country.

Chauhan said the election commission had made alternative arrangements for decentralised counting of votes in the Kinnaur segment in view of adverse weather conditions.