Himachal Pradesh assembly bypolls: About 48% polling recorded till 1 pm

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Shimla, Jul 10 (PTI) A voter turnout of about 48 per cent was recorded till 1 pm on Wednesday in the bypolls in three assembly constituencies of Himachal Pradesh.

The Nalagarh assembly constituency recorded the highest polling of 51.59 per cent, followed by Hamirpur (47.05 per cent) and Dehra (46.47 per cent), according data till 1 pm shared by the state election department .

The seats fell vacant after 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 state assembly on March 22 and joined the party the next day.

Their resignations, however, were accepted by the speaker on June 3. Their seats were declared vacant, necessitating the bypolls.

The BJP has fielded all the three Independent MLAs from their respective seats. The Congress has fielded Kamlesh Thakur, wife of Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, from Dehra, repeated its candidate Pushpinder Verma from Hamirpur and gave ticket to five-time Indian National Trade Union Congress president, Himachal Pradesh unit, Hardeep Singh Baba, from Nalagarh.

BJP candidates Singh and Thakur and Congress nominees Baba and Verma 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 Dehra.

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.

Thirteen candidates are in the fray in the three seats and the results will be declared on July 13. PTI BPL ANB ANB

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