Shimla, May 27 - 64.08 per cent of electorate exercised their right to franchise today in elections to Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC), in which the BJP is making a bid to end the 26-year rule of the Congress.
Polling to elect the Mayor and his Deputy and in 25 wards where 95 candidates are in the fray was brisk in the morning and evening hours and Tuti Kandi ward recorded highest voting of 74.71 per cent while lowest of 50.83 per cent was recorded in Totu ward.
The polling which was held from 7.00 AM to 4.00 PM was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported from any part of the state capital.
The elections for Mayor and Deputy Mayor were held directly for the first time and there were seven candidates, including two women, in the fray for the post of Mayor and five candidates including one women for Deputy Mayor.
Fifty per cent wards (13 out of 25) were reserved for women and 47 out of 95 candidates were women while 44 women contested from 13 wards reserved for them.
Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, who is also the returning officer for SMC polls said that 51235 out of 79951 voters cast their vote and EVMs have been brought to the DC office and kept in safe custody.
The counting of votes would take place tomorrow and the results would be declared immediately.
The Nabha ward recorded 71.98 per cent polling, followed by Chamayana (80 per cent), Summerhill (70.67 per cent), Krishana Nagar (69.17), Kaithu (68.76 per cent), Dhalli (68.66 per cent) and Boileauganj (68.61 per cent).
Chhota Shimla and Kusumpti wards where maximum number of officers and employees reside recorded low polling of 54.16 per cent 55.98 per cent respectively while Patyog recorded 58.3 per cent polling.
Sitting Mayor Madhu Sood(Congress), Dr S S Minhas (BJP) and Sanjay Chauhan (CPI-M) are main contenders for the post of Mayor while Devinder Chauhan (Congress), Digvijay Singh Chauhan (BJP) and Takinder Panwar (CPI-M) were locked in a triangular contest for the post of Deputy Mayor.
The Congress has been in control of the Corporation for last 26 years ever since the elected body was restored in 1986 and the BJP is making a determined bit to wrest the reins of the prestigious civic body. PTI