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Himachal Pradesh Election 2022 Highlights: Himachal saw 74.05% polling; Cong urges EC to take action against carrying of EVMs in private car

Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly Election 2022 Highlights, November 12, 2022: Himachal people want to give BJP another chance, says Nadda; BJP subverting independence of Election Commission, claims Mehbooba Mufti; poll body prohibits exit, opinion polls for Himachal, Gujarat elections.

By: Express Web Desk
Ahmedabad, Shimla | Updated: November 13, 2022 13:47 IST
Himachal Election 2022 Live Voting Updates: Voters holding their identification cards wait in a queue to cast their votes for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, at a polling station in Paonta Sahib, in Sirmaur district, November 12, 2022. (PTI)

Himachal Pradesh Election 2022, Voting in Himachal Pradesh Highlights: Over 74 per cent voter turnout has been recorded in Himachal Pradesh which went to polls on Saturday, according to latest figures. As per the ‘approximate trend’ available on Sunday morning, 74.05 of the total electorate of Himachal Pradesh had cast their vote. In 2017, the turnout was recorded at 75.6 per cent. The hill state has an electorate of over 55 lakh.

The voting commenced on a tardy note and gradually picked up pace. Himachal Pradesh, where the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress are locked in an aggressive direct fight, recorded only five per cent voter turnout in the first hour. Till 1 pm, 37.19 per cent polling was recorded. The highest polling of 41.89 per cent was recorded in Sirmour district, followed by 41.17 percent in Mandi, the home district of Chief Minister Jairam Thakur. The high altitude district of Lahaul and Spiti recorded the lowest of 21.95 per cent while Chamba saw 28.35 per cent voting till 1 pm.

Meanwhile, election strategy has gained strength in Gujarat, which goes to polls on December 1 and 5. Unveiling its manifesto for Gujarat polls on Saturday, the Congress said it will not only ‘apply brakes’ on the rampant privatisation of healthcare and education sectors in the state, but will also restore the original name of Narendra Modi stadium at Motera and intervene in the changes being made to Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.

Live Blog

Himachal Pradesh polls Highlights: As many as 412 candidates contesting polls from 68 constituencies; the Election Commission has set up 7,881 polling stations; Congress releases manifesto for Gujarat polls. Follow this space for latest updates.

13:38 (IST)13 Nov 2022
Follow our Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh Elections blog for all latest news updates

For live news updates on Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, click here.

11:17 (IST)13 Nov 2022
Himachal saw 74.05% polling: provisional data

Over 74 per cent voter turnout has been recorded in Himachal Pradesh which went to polls on Saturday, according to latest figures.

As per the 'approximate trend' available on Sunday morning, 74.05 of the total electorate of Himachal Pradesh had cast their vote. In 2017, the turnout was recorded at 75.6 per cent. The hill state has an electorate of over 55 lakh.

Voting began at 8 am on Saturday on a slow note but picked up as the day progressed and the sun warmed the winter chill.
In the first hour, around five per cent turnout was recorded, while by 11 am, it was 17.98 per cent. It notched up to 37.19 per cent by 1 pm and 55.65 per cent till 3 pm. (PTI)

10:31 (IST)13 Nov 2022
Himachal Congress urges EC to take action against carrying of EVMs in private car

The Congress on Saturday complained to the Election Commission against carrying of EVMs in private vehicles which is in violation of the rules.

In a complaint to the Chief Election Officer, Himachal, the Legal and Human Rights Department of the state Congress said the EVM machines have been seen to be carried to their stations (strong rooms) in unauthorised private vehicles.

Terming it an "utterly unfortunate incident" in his Vidhan Sabha constituency, Rampur, Congress legal cell working chairman Pranay Pratap Singh said that as per the protocol, the vehicles hired to carry such machines to the strong rooms are to be requisitioned beforehand by the Election Commission or the returning officers. (PTI)

21:37 (IST)12 Nov 2022
In a seat with large number of Koli voters, BJP springs a surprise by replacing Koli MLA

Two prominent figures are missing from the short, second list of nominees the BJP put out on Friday for the Gujarat Assembly elections in December.

This takes the total number of sitting MLAs dropped to 40 and the total number of BJP candidates declared to 166, in which, all 89 seats going to the polls on December 1 have been covered.

Of the six seats whose nominees were announced today, the names of Bhavnagar East MLA Vibhavari Dave, who was a minister in the Vijay Rupani Cabinet, and of Jankhana Patel, the sitting MLA from Choryasi, were missing. Sejal Pandya is the candidate for Bhavnagar East, while Choryasi goes to Sandeep Desai. Read more

21:30 (IST)12 Nov 2022
Ravindra Jadeja’s wife to open innings from a strong BJP bastion

One of the biggest surprises of the BJP’s first list for Gujarat was the ticket to cricketer Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Rivaba from Jamnagar North. The BJP dropped its sitting MLA, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja alias Hakhuba, to nominate her.

This is quite a step up for the 31-year-old wife of the star Indian all-rounder. A mechanical engineer who wanted to become a bureaucrat, Rivaba had joined the BJP in March 2019, months after the star couple had called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi in November 2018.

While Ravindra is a native of Jamnagar and the couple spend considerable time in the city, they are based in Rajkot, about 100 km away, where they run a restaurant. Read more

21:07 (IST)12 Nov 2022
Gujarat Assembly polls: BJP faces rebellion, five leaders threaten to fight as independents

At least one sitting Bharatiya Janata Party MLA and four former legislators have threatened to contest as independents after they were denied tickets by the party for the two-phase Gujarat Assembly elections to be held on December 1 and 5.

While some of these disgruntled leaders have said they will make their next move after consulting supporters, former BJP MLA and a known tribal face of the party, Harshad Vasava, has already filed his nomination papers on Friday as an independent from Nandod (Scheduled Tribe reserved) seat.

Notably, Harshad Vasava is the president of Gujarat BJP's Scheduled Tribe Morcha and had represented the erstwhile Rajpipla seat between 2002 and 2007 and from 2007 to 2012.

Nandod in the Narmada district is currently held by Congress. The BJP has fielded Dr Darshana Deshmukh from the seat. Unhappy over the announcement, Harshad Vasava resigned from his post in the BJP and submitted his nomination papers for the Nandod seat on Friday. (PTI)

20:15 (IST)12 Nov 2022
People think next MP from Baramati will be of BJP: Union minister Patel in Pawar bastion

Union minister Prahlad Singh Patel on Saturday said he saw "fear" in Baramati, the home turf of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, and said people of the Lok Sabha constituency think BJP should win from there in 2024 polls.

The Baramati Lok Sabha seat in Pune district is currently represented by Supriya Sule, daughter of Sharad Pawar. Sule's cousin and former deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar is MLA from the Baramati Assembly constituency.

"People in Baramati think BJP's candidate should become MP in 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. I saw 'fear' there and its certificate will be seen in 2024 (in terms of people electing BJP candidate as MP)," Patel told reporters on the last day of his two-day tour of Baramati. (PTI)

20:11 (IST)12 Nov 2022
Mehbooba's attack on election commission reflects her frustration: BJP

Lashing at PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti for her remarks of Election Commission of India, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh on Saturday said her allegation that ECI has become puppet of BJP reflects her "frustration". PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said that the BJP had subverted the Election Commission to an extent that it was no more an independent body.

She alleged that the Election Commission has become 'an extension' of the BJP. 'It will do whatever the BJP tells it to do.' 'In Himachal Pradesh, the BJP leadership campaigned for polls on religious basis. Muslims are being threatened openly but election commission remains a silent spectator,' the PDP leader had said earlier in the day in Khiram area of Anantnag district.

BJP leader in the Union Territory Tarun Chugh said her comments were a result of things not going her way anymore. "Her (Mehbooba Mufti) allegation that election commission of India has become puppet of BJP, purely reflects her frustration, as she is aware of her party's downfall in the democratic set up in Jammu and Kashmir," Chugh said on Saturday. (PTI)

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20:06 (IST)12 Nov 2022
Gujarat polls: Haren Pandya's wife slams BJP MLA for 'statement' on votes polled by her slain husband

Slain BJP leader Haren Pandya's wife Jagruti Pandya on Saturday objected strongly to a purported statement by Ellisbridge MLA Rakesh Shah comparing the party's vote share in the constituency during his tenure with that during her husband's time.

Shah, however, said he never spoke about the party's vote share in this constituency located in Ahmedabad city when Haren Pandya won from it twice in the 1990s.

In a letter to the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) city unit chief Amit Shah (not the Union home minister), Pandya quoted a media report where Rakesh Shah allegedly said that compared to 66 per cent votes won by Haren Pandya in 1995, the party's vote share rose to 80 per cent when he contested. (PTI)

19:11 (IST)12 Nov 2022
Gujarat polls: 324 candidates file nomination forms so far; AAP leads with 70

A total of 324 candidates have filed nominations for the two-phase polls to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly since the process began on November 5, an official said on Saturday.

While 316 candidates have filed nomination forms for the first phase of polling on December 1, eight for the second phase on December 5, a release from the state's chief electoral officer said. Votes will be counted on December 8.

As per information made available by poll authorities, 70 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidates have filed nominations, followed by 52 from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 48 from the opposition Congress, 21 from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), nine from the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) and several Independents. AAP candidates have filed 14 nominations for seats in Surat district, 12 in Rajkot and eight in Kutch, it said. (PTI)

19:09 (IST)12 Nov 2022
Gujarat polls: Sitting MLA Ishwarsinh Patel to lock horns with brother from Ankleshwar

Two brothers will lock horns from rival camps in Ankleshwar assembly constituency in Bharuch district for the Gujarat Assembly elections.

The BJP has fielded its sitting MLA Ishwarsinh Patel, 58, while the Congress his brother Vijaysinh Patel, 61. The Patel brothers belong to Kudadra village in Hansot taluka of Bharuch district. Their father the late Thakoresinh Patel was also the BJP MLA from Ankleshwar in 1990.

Soon after the candidature of Ishwarsinh Patel was announced, a large number of BJP workers and leaders reached his office and congratulated him for leading the party for the fifth consecutive term. Read more

18:08 (IST)12 Nov 2022
Centenarians vote in Himachal Pradesh election

Braving dropping temperatures and advancing years, a number of centenarians turned up for Himachal Pradesh polls on Saturday. 

105-year-old Nari Devi in Churah in Chamba and 103-year-old Pyar Singh in Shimla were among the centenarians who turned up to exercise their franchise.

There are over 1.21 lakh people above 80 years of age in the hill state with as many as 1,136 centenarians. The Election Commission had made special arrangements for the elderly and persons with disabilities at polling stations across the state.

17:31 (IST)12 Nov 2022
Voting in Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections concludes

The voting in Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections has concluded. The final voter turnout is yet to be announced.

EVMs and VVPATs are being sealed and secured at polling booths in Dharamshala and Shimla, news agency ANI reported. The counting of votes will take place on December 8.

16:53 (IST)12 Nov 2022
In pics: Vikramaditya Singh casts vote with mother Pratibha Singh

Vikramaditya Singh and his mother Pratibha Singh cast their votes on Saturday at Rampur. Vikramaditya Singh is the 32-year-old son of six-time Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and the MLA from Shimla Rural on whom lies the burden of taking forward his father’s towering legacy and the Congress’s hopes in the Assembly elections.

In 2017, Vikramaditya took over from his father as the representative of Shimla Rural and that year, for the first time in the state’s history, a father-son duo took the oath of office. This time around, the MLA is without the reassuring presence of his father who died in July 2021. For many Himachalis, the former CM’s wife Pratibha, who is now the state Congress president, and Vikramaditya are extensions of “Raja Sahab”, as Virbhadra was popularly known.

16:23 (IST)12 Nov 2022
Himachal Pradesh records 55 per cent voter turnout till 3 pm

Himachal Pradesh, where the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress are locked in an aggressive direct fight, recorded a voter turnout of 55.65 per cent till 3 pm on Saturday, news agency PTI reported. 

15:51 (IST)12 Nov 2022
In Himachal town once hit by riots, voices near Atal Chowk: ‘Immense respect for Vajpayee, but…’

At the Atal Chowk in Tissa of Churah, an SC reserved constituency in Chamba district, the daily hustle bustle is on — shopkeepers around busy in their work, groups of students and some others waiting for a bus. 

A little over two years ago, the chowk in Tissa, was christened after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Bang in the middle stands a shining statue of the former PM. In the backdrop, are several posters of PM Narendra Modi, making a vote appeal for Hans Raj (39), two-time local BJP MLA, in fray again. Pitted against him is Congress’s Yashwant Singh Khanna (43), a first-timer, and a government teacher who has resigned to contest polls.

The mood of voters in Tissa, a town that witnessed an alleged rape incident taking a communal color and subsequent violence ahead of 2017 Himachal Pradesh assembly polls, seems to be far from the scene on the surface. Even as BJP flags hang outside almost every shop near the chowk, the voters here are not silent— with the undercurrents of anger over pending development works and lack of basic amenities clearly visible, and in unison. Divya Goyal reports

15:26 (IST)12 Nov 2022
Congress promises to rename Motera stadium in manifesto for Gujarat polls

Unveiling the manifesto for Gujarat Assembly elections, the Congress party Saturday said it would not only apply brakes on rampant privatisation of healthcare and education sectors in the state, but will also restore the original name of Narendra Modi stadium at Motera and intervene in the changes being made to Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, accompanied by Jagdish Thakor, president of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, and other leaders from the state unveiled the manifesto titled ‘Jan Ghoshna Patra 2022-27’. Read more

14:29 (IST)12 Nov 2022
'Festival of democracy is worth watching': CEC Rajiv Kumar
14:22 (IST)12 Nov 2022
BJP or Cong? Voters in HP queue up to elect new govt, 37.19% turnout till 1 pm

From Shimla to the icy heights of Spiti, people across Himachal Pradesh voted on Saturday to elect a new state government. It is a crucial test for the BJP hoping to beat precedent and return to power as well as for the Congress looking for electoral revival.

Voting began at 8 am on a slow note but picked up as the day progressed and the sun warmed the winter chill. By 1 pm, 37.19 per cent of the electorate had voted, the Election Commission said. Polling will continue till 5 pm in all 68 assembly constituencies.

The highest polling of 41.89 per cent till 1 pm was recorded in Sirmour district, followed by 41.17 per cent in Mandi, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur's home district. The high altitude district of Lahaul and Spiti recorded 21.95 per cent. (PTI)

13:51 (IST)12 Nov 2022
BJP releases list of six more candidates for Gujarat polls; all seats in first phase covered

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday announced candidates for six more seats in the Gujarat Assembly elections. With this, the ruling party has announced the names of candidates for all 89 seats, out of the total 182, that will go to polls in the first phase of the two-phase elections.

Overall, the BJP has so far named candidates for 166 Assembly segments as it had issued the first list of 160 candidates on November 9. Gujarat will go to polls in two phases on December 1 and December 5 and counting of votes will be done on December 8. Candidates can file their nomination forms for the first phase till 14 November.

As per its second list, in Bhavnagar East constituency, the BJP has fielded Sejal Pandya instead of Vibhavriben Dave, who was a minister in the erstwhile Vijay Rupani-led government. From Dhoraji seat, the party has given a ticket to former vice-chancellor of Saurashtra University Mahendra Padaliya.

The party has fielded Mulu Bera from Khambhalia seat, Dheliben Odedra from Kutiyana, Hitesh Vasava from Dediapada (ST-reserved seat) and Sandeep Desai from Choryasi seat. (PTI)

Polling officials wait to collect election materials at a distribution centre, ahead of Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, in Palampur, November 10, 2022. (PTI)

Price rise, governance and more: Here’s what women voters want in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh will vote on Saturday and according to the figures of the last Assembly election, 79 per cent women had voted while only 70 per cent men had practiced adult franchise. These numbers are in stark contrast to the figures in the neighbouring states, including Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

While Congress’s manifesto promises every adult woman a monthly stipend of Rs 1,500, the Aam Aadmi Party said it will provide a stipend of Rs 1,000 and the BJP manifesto promises a reservation of 33 per cent in government jobs and government-run educational institutions.

Himachal Pradesh polls: ‘Riwaz’ of voting in Jai Ram in Seraj may continue

A five-time MLA who is also the current CM of Himachal Pradesh versus a defeated Congress candidate… This is how the poll campaign is going on in Seraj – the most pampered constituency in the hill state – which has over 84,000 voters. It was earlier known as Chachiot and after delimitation in 2010, it was renamed Seraj.

Chet Ram Thakur is his Congress opponent who is contesting his third election. Being a CM constituency, several development projects came Seraj’s way which did not go down well with the Opposition. Jai Ram was always at the receiving end of Congress’s ire for favouring Seraj more than other places. Congress leaders often target Jai Ram by saying that “he is the CM of only his own constituency”.

Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, campaigning in the state for General Assembly elections. (Express Photo)

In poll-pound Gujarat, Viramgam constituency in Ahmedabad district is now the most-watched seat in the state, after the BJP nominated Patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel as its candidate from here. At 28, Hardik is the youngest candidate so far named in the current elections, and will be contesting his first election.

The BJP has picked Hardik over several party veterans as well as his aides who were also in contention for the seat. Hardik Patel was granted temporary relaxation of a bail condition that barred him from entering the limits of Mehsana by the Gujarat high court. The condition now stands relaxed for Hardik for a period of one year, until November 2023.

Read more stories on our coverage of the General Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat:

‘Coming together of Modi, Nadda, Jai Ram, and Anurag is a matter of chaturbhuj yog’

BJP first list for Gujarat polls: Seniors pulling out, BJP ‘generational shift’ includes 17 Congress rebels

16 voters and a hamlet called Ka: All quiet on this poll front

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First published on: 12-11-2022 at 07:01 IST
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