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Boycott mars elections in HP
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Shimla, May 13
The fate of 31 candidates from four parliamentary constituencies was locked in electronic voting machines as the hill state recorded a moderate turnout with 58 to 60 per cent of the electorate exercising their franchise.

Polling began on a low key and only 10 to 12 per cent votes were cast in the first three hours. More people turned out as the day progressed and by noon 32 to 35 per cent voters had voted. The turnout in Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti was more than 69 per cent. The Hamirpur constituency recorded the highest turnout ranging from 58 to 60 per cent. The polling was highest in Hamirpur district.

District-wise the turnout was 56 per cent in Solan, 60 per cent in Sirmaur, 50 per cent in Shimla, 61 per cent in Hamirpur, 57 per cent in Mandi and Chamba.

The peaceful poll was marred by boycott by people in different parts of the state to register their protest and draw attention of the government towards their demands. The people of Vashishtha in Kulu did not vote as they were annoyed over the decision of the government to allow a mini-hydroelectric project to come up near the village. Voters of two polling booths in Sangarah and a number of villages in the areas to be affected by construction of Renuka dam also boycotted polling.

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