Shimla, Apr 7 (PTI) Electioneering came to a close for Bhoranj (SC) assembly by-election this evening and candidates and their supporters swarmed into the constituency for door-to-door canvassing to woo the voters.
Five candidates including Anil Dhiman (BJP), Promila Devi (Congress) , Pavan Chandel, Ramesh Dogra and Kusum Azad (all independents) are in the fray while Chander and Dogra are BJP and Congress rebels but it is virtually a straight contest between the BJP and Congress.
There are 75,719 voters in Bhoranj Assembly segment including 37514 male and 38205 female voters.
The polling would be held on April 9 and counting of votes would be taken up on April 13.
The by-election is crucial for both the BJP and Congress as it is considered to be trend setter for assembly polls due in November this year.
Stakes are high for BJP as it had won the seat six times in a row since 1990 and the seat was vacated due to death of veteran BJP leader Ishwar Dass Dhiman, whose son Anil Dhiman is the BJP candidate.
The BJP is riding the crest of sympathy wave and former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal campaigned intensively to demonstrate that he still holds sway in his home district.
The Congress has also made the by-election prestige issue and all the senior leaders of the party including chief minister and his cabinet colleagues campaigned for Promila Devi.
Chief minister Virbhadra Singh made three tours of the constituency and addressed 20 election rallies.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.