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Moderate to heavy polling in Himachal bypoll

IANS
Nov 07, 2009 at 09:55pm IST

Shimla: There was moderate to heavy polling in the by-elections to Rohru and Jawali Assembly constituencies in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday, an official said. Polling was peaceful.

"After a sluggish start, polling in both the constituencies picked up as the day progressed. Rohru witnessed around 68 per cent polling, whereas Jawali saw around 65 per cent polling," the state's chief electoral officer (CEO) Anil Khachi told IANS.

He said the polling was peaceful in both constituencies.

HIMACHAL BYPOLLS: A total of 145,957 voters were to decide the fate of eight candidates in the Himachal Pradesh.

In the 2007 Assembly elections, Rohru and Jawali saw 69.24 per cent and 73.39 per cent polling, respectively.

"While the maximum poll per cent in Rohru was recorded at the Androthi polling booth (90.13 per cent), Charudi station in Jawali saw 83 per cent turnout," Khachi said.

According to the election department, Geeta Devi, 112, cast her vote at the Nangal polling station in Jawali, whereas Sunpati, a 109-year-old voter, exercised her franchise at the Parsa booth in Rohru.

A total of 145,957 voters were to decide the fate of eight candidates, including four independents, on both the seats, though the main contest is between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.

While the Rohru seat in Shimla district fell vacant after five-time former chief minister Virbhadra Singh (Congress) was elected to the Lok Sabha, the by-election in Jawali in Kangra district was necessitated when Rajan Sushant (BJP) won the Lok Sabha election.

The Congress fielded former minister Sujan Singh Pathania against BJP's Baldev Raj Chaudhary in Jawali. BJP rebel Madan Sharma is also in the fray in Jawali as an independent.

From Rohru, the BJP has pitted Khushi Ram Balnatah against Manjit Singh of the Congress.

Both Congress and BJP were upbeat about the heavy polling.

The BJP had fared well in the May general elections, winning three of the four Lok Sabha seats in the state.

The votes will be counted Tuesday.

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