Bypolls: Himachal records 15.99 per cent polling in first two hours

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Shimla, Jul 10 (PTI) A voter turnout of 15.99 per cent was recorded in the first two hours of polling on Wednesday for the bypolls in three assembly segments of Himachal Pradesh.

Voting started at 7 am at 315 polling stations. While Dehra recorded a turnout of 15.70 percent, Hamirpur recorded 15.71 percent and Nalagarh 16.48 percent, poll officials said.

A total of 2,59,340 people are eligible to cast their vote in the three assembly seats which fell vacant after the three independent legislators Hoshiyar Singh (Dehra), Ashish Sharma (Hamirpur) and K L Thakur (Nalagarh), who had voted in favour of the BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls held on February 27, resigned from the House on March 22.

They joined the BJP the next day but their resignations were accepted by the Speaker on June 3. Their seats were declared vacant, necessitating the bypolls.

The BJP has fielded all the three independent MLA from their respective seats.

The Congress has fielded Kamlesh Thakur, wife of the chief minister from Dehra, repeated its candidate Pushpinder Verma from Hamirpur and gave ticket to five-time Indian National Trade Union Congress president of the Himachal unit, Hardeep Singh Baba, from Nalagarh.

BJP candidates Singh and Thakur and Congress candidate Bawa were among the early voters.

Talking to PTI, Singh said it is a fight between the "corrupt" Congress government in the state and innocent and honest people of Dehar.

Claiming that police in plain clothes have been following him for the past few days and his supporters have been indirectly threatened, he alleged that the Congress government is misusing official machinery.

The results will be declared on July 13. PTI BPL DV DV

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