Early winter to hit voter turnout, fear Himachal Pradesh netas

Pratibha Chauhan

Shimla, October 11

The delay in the announcement of dates for the Himachal Assembly elections has been giving anxious moments to state politicians as they fear that the early onset of winter could impact voter turnout.

The Dhauladhars around Kangra and the higher mountains of Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti, Kullu, Shimla and Chamba districts experienced snow last night while other parts were lashed by rain. About 50 roads were closed for vehicular movement and the traffic was halted on the Manali-Leh highway beyond Darcha (towards Leh), said officials. The minimum temperature dipped by several notches across the state.

When an Election Commission of India (ECI) team had visited Himachal last month, representatives of almost all political parties had urged it to conduct the polling before November 10.

The elections in 2017 were held on November 9 while the counting took place on December 18. In 2012, the polling and counting took place on November 4 and December 20. With PM Narendra Modi scheduled to address two public meetings in Una and Chamba on October 13, it is expected that the ECI would impose the model code of conduct after the visit.

Till the 2003 Assembly elections, the polling in the three tribal constituencies of Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti and Bharmour (Chamba) used to be held after the rest of the state.

South train 'diverted' to poll-bound Himachal

The fourth Vande Bharat train has been diverted from South India to poll-bound HP with PM Modi set to flag it off from Una on Thursday. The Bengaluru-Chennai link was earlier tipped as the favourite for it.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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