People of Himachal Pradesh participated in the state assembly elections which began on Thursday at 8AM. Voting in Himachal Pradesh took place simultaneously in all 68 constituencies in the state. Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are the two main parties and arch-rivals in the state as the fate of 337 candidates including 62 MLAs is at stake. The polling which kick-started at 8AM ended at 5PM. While the voting in Himachal Pradesh has ended, the total voter turnout is 74% but is likely to increase according to Election Commission of India. 

The winning party in Himachal Pradesh will need at least 35 seats in order to form the government. Senior Congress leader Virbhadra Singh is going head to head with Prem Kumar Dhumal this time as the main contest is between the ruling Congress and BJP. Ruling party Congress which is spearheaded by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is contesting on all 68 seats along with rivals BJP, while BSP will fight has contested on 42 seats, CPIM on 14, Swabhiman Party and Lok Gathbandhan Party on six and CPI on 3. In Himachal Pradesh elections 2017, around 50,25,941 voters were eligible to cast in their vote.

It was also the first time when the Election Commission (EC) used VVPAT machines to make sure that there is “no compromise” this time around. The vote count of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections will be held on December 18 along with those of Gujarat. 

LIVE updates on Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017:

19:00PM: According to Election Commission of India, the total voter turnout is 74% but it is likely to go increase.

17:15PM: Voting has ended in Himachal Pradesh, only those who are in the queue will be allowed to cast their vote. 

16:00PM: As the VVPAT machines were being used in the state for the first time and despite minor hiccups as Electronic Voting Machines developed snags at some places, there was no report of any delay in starting the poll process. 

15:36PM: Out many thousands of polling station in the state, people are also practicing their right to vote at Hikkim polling station in Lahaul-Spiti district. It’s country’s highest polling booth at 14,567 ft and has 194 voters.

14:55PM: “The indelible ink is the mark of indelible history of flourishing Himachal under Congress. The days to come will see a new breakthrough in development & welfare, and new benchmarks will be set for other states to emulate,” Virbhadra Singh said on Thursday. 

14:29:PM:  With more than half of the day has passed,  a total of 54.09% voting has been recorded till 2PM in Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections. 

14:10PM: Senior Congress leader Vidya Stokes casts her vote at a polling booth in Shimla’s Barubag. 

1:20PM: A bridegroom cast their vote at a polling booth in Manali’s Baashing village right before their wedding.  

1:15PM: With 70,000 jobs for youth per year, Himachal has been kept away from the epidemic of unemployment, widespread elsewhere. Himachal is with progress, Himachal is with Congress: Himachal Congress Twitter.  

1:10PM: “From Human Index to Per Capita Income, all the indicators bespeak the shining vibrancy of Himachal under Congress. The land hails progressive development once again,” Congress tweeted from its official Himachal Congress Twitter handle.  

12:38PM: A total of 28.6% polling has been recorded in Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017 till 12 PM.

12:15PM: Shyam Saran Negi, India’s first voter, casts his vote at Kalpa polling station.

12:10PM: As reports of problems in VVPAT machines surface, the polling in Sirmaur district has been delayed by 15-20 minutes.

11:40AM: While the polling is underway in Himachal Pradesh, several reports mentioning about glitches in VVPAT machines from different polling booths has surfaced. 

11:30AM: Union Minister JP Nadda casts his vote at a polling booth in Bilaspur. VVPAT machines are being used for the first time in the state. 

11:10AM: According to reports by a leading daily, VVPAT machine in Hamirpur Sujanpur’s Ree polling booth is not working.

11:05AM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeal the people of Himachal Pradesh to come out and vote in record number to elect the next government.

10:48AM: 13.72% polling recorded in first two hours of Himachal Pradesh elections.

10:30AM: Reports suggests that workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are staging protest at Telag polling booth in Bilaspur district. According to the Times of India, the workers alleged that EVM button for the BJP candidate was not working. 

10:26AM: As per media reports, some EVMs are not working at polling booths in Jagatsukh, Larakeloncand Solang. 

10:02AM: Virbhadra Singh and his son Vikramaditya cast their votes at a polling booth in Shimla. Virbhadra Singh says the Congress will win the elections with full majority. 

10:00AM: BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal and BJP MP from Hamirpur Anurag Thakur cast their votes.

9:58AM: Present Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh while the polling is underway in the state said he is confident of getting majority in the election. “The next government too will be of Congress.”

9:46AM: A confident BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal said,”We aimed to get 50 plus seats but now that we are receiving so much support from all sections of the society, we expect it to cross 60.”

9:18AM: “There is no report of any delay in starting the poll process,” Chief Electoral Officer Pushpendra Rajput said. Voters across the state were seen reaching polling stations even before polling started at 8:00 AM. despite unfavourable weather conditions. 

9:10AM: Due to some technical glitch voting at polling station number 55 in Kinnaur, Reckong Peo has not yet started. The Reckong Peo polling booth is all women-managed.  

8:55 AM: Voting began at 8:02AM in all the 68 constituencies of Himachal Pradesh and will be concluded at 5:00PM.

 

(updating…)