Himachal: Congress, BJP claim victory in civic body polls

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Shimla, Jan 10 (PTI) Both the Congress and the BJP claimed victory in the civic body polls, the voting for which was held in the state on Sunday.

Though municipal and panchayat elections in the hill state are not held on party symbols, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur thanked voters for party’s “historic win”.

Meanwhile, state BJP president Suresh Kashyap claimed victory in around 75 per cent of total 29 municipal councils and 21 nagar panchayats of the state. Himachal Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathour too claimed victory in 70 per cent of the civic bodies where the polling was held on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, the local body elections recorded a turnout of 65.80 per cent with several COVID-19 patients casting their votes, state election commission officials said.

With the COVID protocol in place, around 1.97 lakh people cast their votes for 401 wards in 29 municipal councils and 21 nagar panchayats of the state.

Six newly created nagar panchayats were not included in the election process. Una district recorded the highest voter turnout of 73.40 per cent, followed by Bilaspur (70.20 per cent), Hamirpur (69.80 per cent), Chamba (69.60 per cent) and Kangra (69.50 per cent).

The lowest turnout was recorded in Mandi (55.80 per cent) and Solan (56.60 per cent) districts.

A total of 66 people who were either COVID patients or those staying under quarantine cast their votes, they said, adding that the exact number of COVID patients who exercised their franchise was not immediately available.

Following the safety protocol, COVID patients and people under quarantine were allowed to reach the polling stations and cast their votes.

Sixteen such votes were cast in Mandi, 15 in Una and 10 in Bilaspur.

Polling was held from 8 am to 4 pm and counting held soon after voting at the municipal headquarters.

Most of the results were declared within a few hours.

A total of 1,185 candidates contested the elections, with Kangra district having the highest number of wards and candidates. Elections to the five municipal corporations in the state will be held later.

The elections to most panchayati raj institutions in the state are scheduled to be held in three phases beginning next Sunday. PTI DJI RDK RDK