Peaceful polling in Uttarakhand


    Dehradun, (IANS) Polling proceeded peacefully in the hill state of Uttarakhand Monday as people queued up in the morning cold to vote for 70 assembly constituencies.

    Voting began across 9,806 polling booths at 8 a.m. Monday, Election Commission (EC) officials said here. Some 6.3 million people are eligible to exercise their franchise.

    Along with Uttarakhand, polling is taking place in Punjab.

    In Uttarakhand, Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri, who replaced Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank last year after corruption allegations surfaced against him, is trying to defend the turf for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

    Khanduri, a BJP candidate from Kotdwar, is pitted against Congress nominee Surendra Singh Negi. Dissent within the BJP ranks could affect its prospects, party sources admit.

    Former chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Leader of Opposition Harak Singh Rawat and state Congress chief Yashpal Arya are also among the more than 780 candidates in the fray.

    Polling will be on till 5 p.m.

    Votes will be counted March 6.