30% voter turnout in Shimla civic body polls
The Shimla Municipal Corporation elections registered an over 30 per cent voter turnout in its 34 seats that went to the polls on Friday.
"The elections in all constituencies are going on smoothly. The poll percentage was over 30 per cent by 1 p.m.," an electoral officer told IANS.
Voting began on a dull note, with below five per cent polling in the first hour and by 10 a.m. rose to 15 per cent. It picked up gradually as the day progressed.
Women turned out in strength compared to the men.
A total of 126 candidates, including 50 women, are in the fray. The main contest is between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but the candidates are not contesting on the party symbol.
Unlike the last election in May 2012, when residents elected the mayor and his deputy, this time voters will only elect councillors. The party with the maximum councillors will have internal polling for mayor and deputy mayor.
Over 91,000 voters will cast their votes to elect 34 councillors.
The BJP has supported 34 candidates, while the Congress 24 and the CPI-M 21 candidates. The Communists are supporting six independents.
The ballots will be counted on Saturday.
The CPI-M, which came to power in 2012, ruled the civic body with just three councillors in the 25-member House. The majority of the councillors were from the Congress.
The civic body in this erstwhile summer capital of the Raj -- the oldest in the country after Chennai and Kolkata -- had been ruled by the Congress for 26 years in a row till the last elections.