It promises to be the most exciting electoral battle in the hills in recent times. With multiple rallies by PM Narendra Modi, the BJP has hit the ground running. Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP started off strong but has of late diverted much of its focus to Gujarat. The Congress campaign rests on the shoulders of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra but is yet to pick up pace. News18 tours the state to gauge public sentiment and political strategies ahead of Himachal Pradesh elections 2022.
From deployment of electronic voting machines (EVM) at an altitude of over 15,000 feet to 93 voters having to trudge along 14km to reach their nearest polling station — polling in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh, which votes on November 12, is an arduous task.
At a height of 15,256 foot, Tashigam in Lahaul Spiti segment will be the highest polling station, while Dhusara in Chintpurni segment in Una is at the lowest height of 300 ft. There are a total 65 polling stations at a height of 10,000-12,000 ft, while 20 are above 12,000 ft.
“Ninety-three voters will have to travel 14km to reach the polling station at Chasag Bhataori in Bharmour segment in Chamba district,” said Himachal Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Manish Garg.
Of the 55,74,793 lakh voters in the state, 27,80,203 are men and 27,27,016 women. The number of total voters in the 2017 polls was 50,25,941.
A total of 1.20 lakh voters are above the age of 80, including 1,181 persons who are above 100 years. The number of service voters in the State is 67,532. A total of 142 polling stations will be fully managed by women and 37 by people with disabilities.
The highest number of voters in the State are in the Sulah (1,04,486) assembly segment in Kangra and the lowest in Lahaul Spiti (14,468), which is the largest area wise.
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In Dharamshala assembly constituency, the highest number of voters — 1,494 – is at the Sidhbari polling station, while the lowest — 16 voters — at Kaa in Kinnaur.
“This time the expenditure limit for a candidate has been enhanced from Rs 28 lakh to Rs 40 lakh,” he said.
Garg revealed there are a total of 7,881 polling stations compared to 7,525 in 2017, an increase of 4.73%. Only eight per cent of polling stations are located in the urban areas.
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