HP bypolls: Counting tomorrow, 25 centres set up

07:29 PM Nov 01, 2021 | Team Udayavani |

Shimla: Twenty-five centres have been set up for the counting of votes for the Mandi Lok Sabha and three Assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh, an official said on Monday.


The bypolls to the Mandi parliamentary and the Assembly seats of Fatehpur, Arki and Jubbal-Kotkhai were held on October 30, the counting for which will be held on Tuesday.

State Chief Electoral Officer C Paulrasu said the counting will begin on Tuesday at 8 am am under tight security.

As many as 19 counting centres, including two for postal ballots, were set up for Mandi and two each, including one each for postal ballots, for Fatehpur, Arki and Jubbal-Kotkhai, he added.

The CEO said 11 counting observers were deputed for the Mandi parliamentary seat whereas three general observers were deputed for the Assembly seats.


Victory processions by winning candidates and their supporters have been banned in view of COVID-19, he added.

The fate of 18 candidates will be decided Tuesday.

A direct contest is expected between the ruling BJP and the Congress on all seats, except Jubbal-Kotkhai, where rebel BJP leader Chetan Singh Bragta, who is contesting an Independent, is being predicted as a stronger candidate.

In Mandi, six candidates are in the fray. However, the direct contest is expected between the late chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh and Kargil war hero Brigadier Khushal Singh Thakur of the BJP.

Twelve candidates are trying their luck for the three Assembly seats of Arki, Fatehpur and Jubbal-Kotkhai.

Chetan Singh Bragta is seen to be giving a tough fight to Congress candidate Rohit Thakur and BJP’s Neelam Seraik in Jubbal-Kotkhai, where four candidates, including Independent Suman Kadam are in the fray.

A direct contest is likely between BJP’s Rattan Singh Pal and Congress candidate Sanjay in Arki, where Independent candidate Jeet Ram is also trying his luck.

In Fatehpur, the main contest is expected between Baldev Thakur of the BJP and Bhawani Singh Pathania of the Congress.

The bypolls were held as the seats fell vacant following the death of sitting lawmakers. The Mandi seat fell vacant after the sitting MP, BJP’s Ram Swaroop Sharma, was found hanging in his official residence in New Delhi on March 17.

Former state minister and Fatehpur Congress MLA Sujan Singh Pathania, former minister and Jubbal-Kotkhai MLA Narinder Bragta and former chief minister and Arki MLA Virbhadra Singh died in February, June and July, respectively.


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