The four Lok Sabha seats of Himachal Pradesh witnessed a turnout of 66.35 per cent till 5 pm on Sunday, officials said.
The voting turnout has already crossed the 2014 general election’s polling percentage of 64.45 per cent in the state.
Interestingly, 132 percent turnout has been recorded in the world’s highest polling station in Tashigang village of Himachal Pradesh’s tribal Lahaul and Spiti district, a district official said.
There are a total of 49 registered voters in the Tashigang polling station. Of these, 33 voters cast their votes till 3 pm. Apart from the registered voters, 32 members of the poll staff deployed at the Tashigang polling station and several nearby booths cast their vote here after showing election duty certificate (EDCs) issued to them by concerned AROs, he added.
The Tashigang polling station is situated at a height of 15,256 feet above the sea level, State’s Assistant Chief Electoral Officer Harbans Lal Dhiman said.
The temperature was below freezing point at Tashigang when the polling began at 7 am. The voters came to the polling station while wearing their traditional attire for exercising their right to franchise.
A bridegroom exercised his right to franchise in Kothi polling station in Manali of Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district.
Before proceeding to his bride’s village for his marriage, Anil, 28, of Kothi village near Manali, led his entire wedding procession to the polling booth number eight in the city and cast his vote, besides making his wedding companions to do the same.
“Anil cast his vote before proceeding for his marriage,” a district election official said, adding the groom reached the polling with many of his wedding procession members.
The first Indian voter, Shyam Saran Negi, 101, cast his vote a Kinnaur district’s Kalpa polling booth under Mandi Lok Sabha seat. He was given warm welcome by the election staff at the booth.
However, the voters of a village on the Sino-India border in Himachal Pradesh have boycotted the Lok Sabha poll as the government “failed” to find a permanent solution to frequent floods they face.
Located at an altitude of 10,000 feet and around 350 km from state capital Shimla, voters at Geu village in Lahaul and Spiti district said they had been demanding their resettlement, but their demands remained unheard.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur along with his family members cast his vote at Bharari (Murhag) in Seraj Vidhan Sabha constituency of Mandi district.
EVM snags delayed voting at nine polling stations, but it restarted after the faulty machines were replaced, a state election officer said.
In Hatli Jamwal area of Nurpur Assembly segment in Kangra district, the polling was stopped in the morning for about an hour due to faulty VVPAT machine. It was immediately reported and the VVPAT was changed.
In Khannai area, two differently-abled voters, both visually-impaired — Saraj Deen, 70, and Shaver Deen, 41, were escorted by officials from their house in a government vehicle to the polling station to cast their votes.
Polling was underway in Shimla (SC), Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra. Five MLAs, including a state minister, are among the 45 candidates in the fray.
A total of 7,730 polling stations have been set up in 4 constituencies — Shimla (SC), Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra — in the state where 53,30,154 registered voters are registered.