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Voting underway for Himachal civic polls

Polling is underway for four municipal corporations in Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday with 279 candidates in the fray.

Polling is being held at Dharamshala, Mandi, Solan and Palampur from 8 am to 4 pm.

Mandi, Solan and Palampur are the newly-created civic bodies and are going for polls for the first time, while the Dharamshala municipal corporation was created in 2015 when the elections were not held on party symbols.

Elections are also being held simultaneously in six newly-created nagar panchayats — Chirgaon and Nerwa in Shimla district, Ani and Nirmand in Kullu district, Kandaghat in Solan and Amb in Una district.

The voting started at a slow pace but is gradually gaining momentum, an election official said.

A total of 279 candidates are trying their luck in 64 wards of the four municipal bodies, but the direct contest is likely between the BJP and the Congress candidates.

The Aam Aadmi Party has also fielded its candidates in 43 out of a total of 64 wards, whereas the CPI(M) has fielded only one candidate in a ward in Mandi.

Eighty candidates are in the fray for 17 wards of Dharamshala, followed by 75 candidates for 15 wards of Mandi, 64 candidates for 15 wards of Palampur and 60 candidates for Solan.

The counting of votes will be taken up immediately after the end of the polling at 4 pm at the municipal headquarters.

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