M A I N   N E W S

Campaign din fades away as Himachal readies to vote
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 2
The din of electioneering in the hills died down as campaigning for the November-4 elections for the 68 Assembly seats came to a close this evening.

A record number of 459 contestants, including 27 women, are in the fray with the two main contenders for power, the ruling BJP and opposition Congress, fielding candidates for all 68 seats. The Himachal Lok Morcha (HLM), an alliance led by breakaway BJP group HLP (Himachal Lokhit Party) and the Left are contesting 58 seats and have lent support to three Independents. The HLP is contesting 36 seats, the CPM 15 and the CPI 7.

The BSP, which won a solitary seat in the last elections, has fielded 66 candidates, followed by the TMC (25), LJP and Swabhiman Party (16 each), NCP and SP (12 each) and Shiv Sena (4). There are 105 Independents in the fray.

In all, 7,253 polling stations have been set up for 46,08,359 electors (23,76,587 males and 22,31,772 females) for the exercise. Of these, 1,317 have been declared sensitive and 763 hypersensitive. As many as 11,000 electronic voting machines (EVMs), including standby machines, will be deployed and polling teams have been despatched. The Hikkam polling station (over 15,000 ft) in the tribal Lahaul and Spiti district will be the highest polling station. It has 325 voters.

Sullah constituency in Kangra district has the highest number of voters (88,971), while Lahaul-Spiti constituency has the lowest number (22,315).

A polling party along with paraphernalia has been airlifted to land-locked Bara Bhangal hamlet in Baijnath Assembly constituency to enable 45 electors, including 26 male and 19 female voters, to exercise their franchise.

Helicopter services have also been made available for tribal areas of Pangi, Keylong and Kaza.

Around 60 companies of Central paramilitary forces, including the ITBP and the CRPF, will be deployed to ensure free and fair elections and a police control room has been set up for monitoring of poll-related activities.

Poll Bites

* Record 459 contestants, including 27 women, in the fray

* 7,253 polling stations for 46,08,359 electors; 1,317 stations declared sensitive; 763 hypersensitive

* 11,000 EVMs in place; 60 companies of paramilitary forces, including ITBP and CRPF, deployed

Liquor banned
The sale of liquor has been banned for 48 hours and dry days will remain in force from 5 am on Nov 2 to 5 pm on Nov 4. 140 checkpoints have been set up to check the movement of liquor & cash. 90 flying squads have been pressed into service.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |