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By-polls in Punjab, Himachal underway

The by-polls will determine the fate of 13 candidates, including Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu's wife in Himachal. 

News Arena Network - Chandigarh - UPDATED: July 10, 2024, 02:18 AM - 3 mins read

Voters wait in queues at a polling station to cast their votes during the Nalagarh assembly bypoll, in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh (left), and Voters stand in queues at a polling station to cast their votes during the Jalandhar West assembly bypoll.

By-polls in Punjab, Himachal underway

Voters wait in queues at a polling station to cast their votes during the Nalagarh assembly bypoll, in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh (left), and Voters stand in queues at a polling station to cast their votes during the Jalandhar West assembly bypoll.


By-polls for Punjab's Jalandhar West assembly seat and Himachal Pradesh's three assembly seats are underway on Wednesday.  

 

A voter turnout of 32.7 per cent was recorded till 11 am in three assembly segments of Himachal Pradesh. While Dehra assembly constituency recorded a turnout of 31.61 percent, Hamirpur saw 31.81 percent and Nalagarh 34.63 percent.

 

The by-polls will determine the fate of 13 candidates, including Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu's wife in Himachal. 

 

Many people made a beeline to the polling centres as voting started at 7 am at 315 polling stations in the three assembly segments of Dehra, Hamirpur and Nalagarh. A total of 2,59,340 people are eligible to cast their vote. 

 

The seats fell vacant after the three 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 House on March 22. 

 

They joined the BJP the next day but the Speaker accepted their resignations on June 3. Their seats were declared vacant, necessitating the by-polls. 

 

The BJP has fielded all the three independent MLAs from their respective seats. 

 

The Congress has fielded Kamlesh Thakur, wife of the chief minister from Dehra, repeated its candidate Pushpinder Verma from Hamirpur and gave ticket to five-time Indian National Trade Union Congress president of the Himachal unit, Hardeep Singh Baba, from Nalagarh. 

 

Meanwhile, in Punjab, The Jalandhar West constituency is witnessing a multi-cornered contest with major political outfits like AAP, Congress and BJP vying to outdo each other.

 

Fifteen candidates are in the fray for the by-election.

 

There are a total of 1,71,963 eligible voters - 89,629 males, 82,326 females, and eight third gender voters.

 

There are 874 Persons with Disabilities (PwD) category voters for whom necessary arrangements of wheelchairs and pick-and-drop facilities have been made, the officials said. A total of 181 polling stations have been set up, they said, adding that 10 model polling booths have been set up.

 

The Jalandhar West assembly seat fell vacant after Sheetal Angural resigned as AAP legislator and joined the BJP in March.

 

The ruling AAP has fielded Mohinder Bhagat, the son of former minister Bhagat Chunni Lal. Congress has placed its bet on Surinder Kaur, a former senior deputy mayor, while the BJP has fielded Angural.

 

Though the Shiromani Akali Dal had fielded Surjit Kaur for the bypoll, it later withdrew its support and disowned her amid the party's ongoing infighting. Later, the SAD announced its decision to support BSP nominee Binder Kumar for the bypoll. 

 

The results will be declared on July 13.

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