TNI Bureau: Polling for all 68 seats in Himachal Pradesh has begun amidst tight security this morning, According to latest reports, at least 15-20% people have already cast their vote by 11 AM. There have been no reports of any violence or untoward incident so far.
A record number of 459 candidates, including 27 women are in the fray. At least 105 independent candidates, mostly rebels from the Congress and BJP are contesting the polls.
The ruling BJP is hopeful of retaining the power despite the anti-incumbency factor just because of the price rise, inflation, fuel price hike and corruption issues at the centre. Even Congress’ CM candidate Virbhadra Singh is facing serious graft charges.
In the 2007 assembly polls, BJP had won 41 seats, while the Congress won 23. The lone BSP MLA later joined the BJP. The Congress Party is hopeful of making a comeback by increasing its tally by trying to generate an anti-incumbency mood against the BJP government led by Prem Kumar Dhumal.