Electorates in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday braved the cold to cast their ballot in the first phase of the panchayat elections that began amid tight security.
Polling, which began at 7.00 am, is taking place only in remote areas of Chamba and Lahaul-Spiti districts.
“The polling for 32 panchayats and two zila parishads began peacefully. There was no report of any delay in starting the poll process,” an election official told IANS.
He said 10 panchayats in Lahaul-Spiti elected representatives unopposed.
Police and home guard personnel were deployed to maintain law and order.
The counting of the votes would start soon after the polling ends at 3.00 pm.
Meanwhile, the none of the above (NOTA) provision would be also available for voters.
The results for the posts of ‘pradhan’ (president) and ‘up-pradhan’ (vice-president) and ‘panches’ (ward members) would be declared in the evening, the official added.
However, the vote counting for two zila parishad members would begin on November 28.
The polling schedule for the remaining Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) would be announced later.