Local bodies polls in Himachal records 65 per cent turn out


The local body elections in Himachal Pradesh recorded a total turnout of 65.80 per cent on Sunday with several Covid-19 patients casting their votes, state election commission officials said.

With Covid protocol in place, around 1.97 lakh people cast their votes for 401 ward members in 29 municipal councils and 21 nagar panchayats of the state.

Six newly-created nagar panchayats were not included in the election process.

Una district recorded the highest voter turnout of 73.40 per cent, followed by Bilaspur (70.20 per cent), Hamirpur (69.80 per cent), Chamba (69.60 per cent) and Kangra (69.50 per cent).

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The lowest turnout was recorded in Mandi (55.80 per cent) and Solan (56.60 per cent) districts.

A total of 66 people who were either Covid patients or those staying under quarantine cast their votes, they said, adding that the exact number of Covid patients who exercised their franchise was not immediately available.

Following the safety protocol, Covid patients and people under quarantine were allowed to reach the polling stations and cast their votes. Sixteen such votes were cast in Mandi, 15 in Una and 10 in Bilaspur.

A total of 1,185 candidates contested the elections, with Kangra district having the highest number of wards and candidates.

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Polling was not held in some wards where candidates were elected unopposed.

Elections to the five municipal corporations in the state will be held later and elections to most panchayati raj institutions in the state are scheduled to be held in three phases beginning next Sunday.

Municipal and panchayat elections in Himachal are not held on party symbols.