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Polling begins in Himachal, 3 states

Polling in Himachal Pradesh and three north eastern states began on Wednesday morning amidst tight security.

india Updated: Feb 26, 2003 10:29 IST

Voting for Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Nagaland and MeghalayaAssembly elections began on Wednesdaymorning amidst tight security.

In Himachal as many as 39,82,811 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise which decide the fate of 391 candidates, including Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, former Chief Minister VB Singh, Speaker of the dissolved Assembly Ghulam Singh Thakur, Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee president Vidya Stokes and state BJP president Jai Krishen Sharma.

Polling for three snow-bound constituencies-- Lahaul Spiti, Kinnaur and Pangi Bharmaur-- has been deferred to June 8.

Electronic voting machines will be used for the first time in the state in all the constituencies.

The BJP and Congress are contesting all the 68 seats, Himachal Vikas Party in 45, former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party in 30, BSP 23, Samajwadi Party 19, NCP 15, CPI seven and CPI (M) four.

Around 1,000 para-military personnel and 13,000 police and Home Guards have been deployed to ensure free and fair polling.

As many as 548 polling booths have been declared hyper sensitive and 1,018 sensitive.

First Published: Feb 26, 2003 08:57 IST