Voting begins for Himachal Pradesh panchayat polls

Shimla: Electorates in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday braved the cold to cast their ballot in the first phase of the panchayat elections that began amid tight security.

Polling, which began at 7.00 a.m., is taking place only in remote areas of Chamba and Lahaul-Spiti districts.

"The polling for 32 panchayats and two zila parishads began peacefully. There is no report of any delay in starting the poll process," an election official told IANS.

He said 10 panchayats in Lahaul-Spiti elected representatives unopposed.

Police and home guard personnel have been deployed to maintain law and order.

The counting of the votes would start soon after the polling ends at 3.00 p.m.

The NOTA provision would be available.

The results for the posts of 'pradhan' or president and 'up-pradhan' or vice-president and 'panches' or ward members would be declared in the evening, the official added.

The vote counting for two Zila Parishad members would begin on November 28.

The polling schedule for the remaining Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) would be announced later.

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