Hamirpur: Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Saturday cast his vote in Himachal’s Hamirpur in the Assembly polls in the state.
Ahead of casting his votes, the minister hit out at Congress.
“Our government was formed yet again in Uttarakhand, UP, Manipur and Goa, it will happen this time in HP and Gujarat, as well… Congress has a habit of making false promises and the public knows their real face,” Anurag said while talking to the reporters.
Former state Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Saturday cast their vote in Himachal’s Hamirpur in the Assembly polls in the state.
Voting to elect the new government in Himachal Pradesh spread across 68 seats in the state is underway on Saturday morning at 8 am amid tight security in place.
Thakur, who is an MP from the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat, is Dhumal’s son who was the chief minister of the state twice before losing the office in 2017 after facing a defeat in Sujanpur.
The BJP has fielded Narinder Thakur against Congress’ Pushpendra Verma and AAP’s Shushil Kumar Surroch in the ongoing polls.
Narinder Thakur is a sitting MLA who had won the seat defeating Congress candidate Kuldeep Singh Pathania with a margin of over 7,000 votes in the 2017 Assembly elections. The BJP has put its faith in him once again to sail the party through the fight in the constituency.
Rajinder Rana has a close contest with Captain Ranjeet Singh of the BJP in Hamirpur’s Sujanpur segment this time. Notably, Rana had defeated BJP’s Prem Kumar Dhumal in the 2017 Assembly polls in the Sujanpur constituency.
The Hamirpur constituency has the highest number of voters, nearly 1,283 voters in the Swahal polling station, whereas the lowest number of voters is 105 in the Barsar constituency at Balh Dhatwalian polling station.
A total of 55,92,828 electors who can cast their votes till 5 pm today will decide the fate of 412 candidates who are in the fray.
Out of the total number of electorates, 27,37,845 are women, 28,54,945 men and 38 were third-gender. This time, the representation of woman candidates is 24.
The high-voltage campaigning by political parties had ended on November 10, following which it’s up to the electorate of Himachal Pradesh to decide the political fate of the candidates today.
The fight is in between the ruling BJP in the state which is looking to retain power ditching the trend of the alternate party coming to power every five years since 1982, and Congress which is banking on its ’10 guarantees’ that the party listed out in its manifesto to take them home. Aam Aadmi Party is in line looking to leave a mark in the state and thus contesting on all the 68 seats alone.
The challenge for the ruling BJP will be to buck anti-incumbency and change the trend of the alternate government.
Besides these three parties, parties like Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Rashtriya Devbhumi Party (RDP) are in the fray.
BJP brought star campaigners like Union Home Minister Amit Shah, party chief Jagat Prakash Nadda and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for the polls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also campaigned in the hill state. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also hit the ground along with other top leaders of the party including Chattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel.
According to Election Commission, a total of 7,881 polling stations have been set up for today’s polls. The Kangra district has a maximum of 1,625 polling stations while the Lahaul-Spiti district has the lowest 92. There are 7,235 polling stations in rural and 646 polling stations in urban areas. Besides, three auxiliary polling stations have also been set up at Sidhbari (Dharamshala), Bara Bhangal (Baijnath) and Dhillon (Kasauli).
Among the key contests include Seraj where Chief Minister Jairam Thakur is contesting against Congress’ Chetram Thakur and AAP candidate Gita Nand Thakur. Mahinder Rana is the CPI-M candidate.
Congress state chief Mukesh Agnihotri who contesting his fifth election from the Haroli assembly segment in the Una district where BJP has fielded Ramkumar and AAP pitted Ravinder Pal Singh Mann.
Congress fielded Vikramaditya Singh, son of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh from Shimla Rural against BJP’s Ravi Mehta and AAP’s Prem Thakur.
In Mandi, the battle is between BJP candidate Anil Sharma and Congress’ Champa Thakur. AAP fielded Shyam Lal in the seat.
The Shimla Urban is among the most talked about seats this time as BJP gave a ticket to Sanjay Sood, who runs a tea shop in the city.
Meanwhile, 67 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) comprising 6,700 personnel and 15 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) companies have been depoyed for holding free and fair Assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh.
Besides this, 50,000 government employees have been put on poll duty. As many as 25,000 police officers are also stationed across the state.
Teams from the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) comprising 800 personnel have also been posted.
In 2017, BJP swept the Himachal polls, bagging 44 of the total 68 seats while Congress managed to get just 21 seats.
This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.
Also read: HP elections: Voting begins as BJP looks for return to power, Cong battles for change