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67 per cent voter turnout in second phase of HP polls

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 19, 2007 20:16 IST
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An estimated 67 per cent of the 45 lakh voters on Wednesday exercised their franchise in the second and final phase of assembly elections for 65 seats in Himachal Pradesh.

Early morning fog and biting cold kept the turnout low, but as the day wore on and the weather improved, voters came out in large numbers.

Kangra district, which has the highest number of 16 seats and holds the key to victory for either ruling Congress or Bharatiya Janata Party, saw a voter turnout of 65 per cent.

The Congress had won 11 of those 16 seats in the previous assembly polls in 2003, making deep inroads into traditional BJP strongholds.

While polling was about 10-15 per cent in the first three hours after start of polling at 8 am, it climbed to 25-30 per cent by 1 pm.

The highest turnout of 72.88 per cent was recorded in Jubalkhote constituency in Shimla district and the lowest in the state capital (55.42 per cent).

Nearly 65 per cent of voters cast their votes in Rohru constituency in Shimla district from where Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is seeking re-election.

Polling spread across ten districts passed off by and large peacefully amid tight security arrangements.

The polling on Wednesday will decide the electoral fate of 324 candidates spread across ten districts including Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, BJP's chief ministerial nominee Prem Kumar Dhumal, Speaker G R Musafir, senior ministers Vidya Stokes, Kaul Singh Thakur and Raj Kishan Gaur and state BJP chief Jai Ram Thakur.

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