Himachal Pradesh to vote today, decide 412 candidates' fate: Top 10 points
Himachal Pradesh assembly election: The voting is scheduled from 8am to 5pm and the ECI has set up a total of 7,884 polling stations, including three auxiliary polling stations in far-flung areas. The counting of votes will take place on December 8.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is banking on its development agenda to retain power, while the Congress is hoping that the people will follow the four-decade-old tradition of voting out incumbents as Himachal Pradesh is set to vote in the assembly election on Saturday.
Top points on the Himachal Pradesh assembly poll:
1. More than 55 lakh voters in Himachal Pradesh will decide the fate of 412 candidates, including chief minister Jairam Thakur, former CM Virbhadhra Singh's son Vikramaditya Singh and former BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti, in the election in 68 constituencies.
2. For the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has led the campaign from the front, wrapping up his canvassing with a personal appeal to voters of the state, where he said every vote cast for the BJP symbol "lotus" will enhance his strength.
3. BJP president JP Nadda, Union home minister Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Irani and Anurag Thakur held a series of poll meetings apart from public outreach.
4. The opposition Congress has principally banked on general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. For the Congress, which has been on a downhill electorally since the last two election cycles, wresting Himachal Pradesh from the BJP is a matter of survival.
5. The Congress has lost in nine states over two years, including West Bengal, Kerala, Assam, and Puducherry in 2021 and Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur this year.
6. New entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s campaign in Himachal Pradesh remained highly muted with the contest principally shaping up as a direct one between the BJP and the Congress in line with past trends.
7. Chief minister Thakur is contesting from Seraj in Mandi, while former BJP chief Satti is trying his luck from Una. Former HPCC chief and Campaign Committee chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu from Nadaun and Congress manifesto committee chief Dhani Ram Shandil in Solan.
8. A total of 1,21,409 voters are above the age of 80, including 1,136 centenarians. Of the total voters, 28,54,945 are male and 27,37,845 female voters in the state, which saw a polling percentage of 75.57 per cent in the 2017 assembly polls. This is up from 73.5 per cent polling in the 2012 assembly polls.
9. There are only 24 women candidates in the fray this time, against 19 in 2017 and 34 in the 2012 assembly polls.
10. The voting is scheduled from 8am to 5pm and the Election Commission of India has set up a total of 7,884 polling stations, including three auxiliary polling stations in far-flung areas. The counting of votes will take place on December 8.
(With inputs from PTI)