Uttarakhand polls: 40% electorate exercise franchise till 1 pm

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Dehradun: Around 40 per cent of the electorate have exercised their franchise by 1 PM in 69 of the 70 Assembly seats of Uttarakhand today.

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Haridwar at 47 per cent, Uttarkashi at 45 per cent, Udhamsingh Nagar at 43 per cent and Nainital at 42 per cent were among districts that have recorded the highest polling so far, the state election office said.

Elections for Karnaprayag seat in Chamoli district have been postponed to March 9 due to the death of BSP candidate Kuldeep Singh Kanwasi in a road accident on Sunday last.

On most of the seats the ruling Congress and the BJP are locked in straight contests but rebel candidates of both parties who have entered the fray as independents may play a crucial role in upsetting the calculations of the official nominees of their respective parties.

12 former Congress MLAs contesting as BJP candidates and two former BJP MLAs travelling in Congress boat have made these elections interesting.

Chief minister Harish Rawat, who is seeking a second stint in office is contesting from two seats, Haridwar (rural) and Kichha in Udhamsingh Nagar district.

BJP heavyweight Satpal Maharaj is contesting from Chaubatakhal whereas state BJP chief Ajay Bhatt is battling it out in Ranikhet.

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