65% polling in 4 Himachal municipal corporations

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Shimla, Apr 7 (PTI) Sixty-five per cent polling was recorded in elections to the four municipal corporations in Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday, an election official said.

Results are expected later on Wednesday night as the counting of votes is underway after the voting for the civic bodies from 8 am to 4 pm.

According to preliminary reports, polling of 65.30 per cent -- 92,578 votes -- was recorded in Dharamshala, Mandi, Solan and Palampur municipal bodies.

Mandi recorded the highest turnout of 69.20 per cent, followed by 68.8 per cent in Palampur, 62.7 per cent in Dharamshala and 61.60 per cent in Solan.

Mandi, Solan and Palampur are the newly-created civic bodies and going to polls for the first time. The first election to the Dharamshala Municipal Corporation was held in April 2016 and it was not conducted on party symbols.

The elections for the four civic bodies have been held on the party symbols this time.

Elections have been held simultaneously in six newly-created nagar panchayats -- Chirgaon and Nerwa in Shimla district, Ani and Nirmand in Kullu district, Kandaghat in Solan and Amb in Una districts.

A total of 279 candidates are trying their luck in 64 wards of the four municipal bodies, but the direct contest is likely between the BJP and the Congress candidates. The Aam Aadmi Party has also fielded its candidates in 43 wards, while the CPI(M) has fielded only one candidate in a ward in Mandi.

Eighty candidates are in the fray for 17 wards of Dharamshala, followed by 75 candidates for 15 wards of Mandi, 64 candidates for 15 wards of Palampur and 60 candidates for Solan. PTI DJI CORR HMB