Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and his family, wife Sadhana Thakur and daughters Chandrika Thakur and Priyanka Thakur, cast their votes in the Seraj Assembly constituency for state assembly polls today from polling station 44 in Mandi.
Ahead of casting his vote, he and his family offered prayers in a temple and he urged all voters to cast their vote today to “further strengthen democracy”. Polling began at 8 am amid tight security arrangements on Saturday.
Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur & his family cast their votes in Seraj Assembly constituency for #AssemblyElections2022; visuals from polling station 44 in Mandi
Confident of a grand win. Feedback is great. Most importantly, people are casting their votes peacefully, he said. pic.twitter.com/UbPnheSuej
— ANI (@ANI) November 12, 2022
Among the seats expected to see tough competition is Seraj where Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will be facing Congress leader Chet Ram Thakur and Aam Admi Party candidate Gita Nand Thakur.
HP CM urges everyone to vote
“I am happy that the campaign was completed in a good atmosphere. The people of Himachal cooperated. I thank the people of Himachal for this. I urge all voters to cast their vote today so that we can further strengthen democracy,” HP CM said.
He further said that he was confident that his government would be repeated in the state.
“I am confident that people want to repeat this government. I have started receiving wishes this morning. I received PM Modi’s message a while ago, he gave me his blessings and best wishes,” CM added.
“It is a very special day for us, as CM Jairam Thakur campaigned across the state. I pray to god to bless him with success, so our state reaches new heights. Himachal will change,” Jairam Thakur’s wife Sadhana Thakur said.
A total of 55,92,828 electors who will cast their votes till 5 pm today will decide the fate of 412 candidates who are in the fray.
Out of the total number of electorates, 27,37,845 are women, 28,54,945 are men and 38 were third-gender. This time, the representation of woman candidates is 24.
The high-voltage campaigning by political parties ended on November 10, following which it’s up to the electorate of Himachal Pradesh to decide the political fate of the candidates today.
The fight is in between the ruling BJP in the state which is looking to retain power ditching the trend of the alternate party coming to power every five years since 1982, and Congress which is banking on its ’10 guarantees’ that the party listed out in its manifesto to take them home. Aam Aadmi Party is in line looking to leave a mark in the state and thus contesting on all the 68 seats alone.
The challenge for the ruling BJP will be to buck anti-incumbency and change the trend of the alternate government.
Polling stations across Himachal Pradesh
Besides these three parties, parties like Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Rashtriya Devbhumi Party (RDP) are in the fray.According to Election Commission, a total of 7,881 polling stations have been set up for today’s polls.
The Kangra district has a maximum of 1,625 polling stations while the Lahaul-Spiti district has the lowest 92. There are 7,235 polling stations in rural and 646 polling stations in urban areas. Besides, three auxiliary polling stations have also been set up at Sidhbari (Dharamshala), Bara Bhangal (Baijnath) and Dhillon (Kasauli).
Preparations for polls
Meanwhile, 67 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) comprising 6,700 personnel and 15 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) companies have been deployed for holding free and fair Assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh.
Besides this, 50,000 government employees have been put on poll duty. As many as 25,000 police officers are also stationed across the state.
Teams from the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) comprising 800 personnel have also been posted.In 2017, BJP swept the Himachal polls, bagging 44 of the total 68 seats while Congress managed to get just 21 seats.