The polling for Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election 2017 came to an end today at 5 PM. Those already in the queue were allowed to cast their vote. Till 5 PM, the voter turnout was 70%, which can be considered as good. The Himachal Pradesh Assembly comprises 68 members and in this election, a total of 337 candidates are in the fray. However, the primary fight is between the incumbent Congress and the BJP. The elections today in Himachal Pradesh were largely peaceful. The only problem it appears was with the EVM and VVPAT machines, several of whom had malfunctioned. This led to unnecessary delays and voters had to wait in long queues to cast their vote at many polling booths.
In the 2012 assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, the Indian National Congress (INC) had won 36 seats, BJP 26, independents 5 and Himachal Lokmat Party (HLP) 1 seat. Political pundits said that this time it will be a tough fight between Congress and BJP. In a recent survey, it was revealed that the average wealth of Congress candidates was 8.5 crore whereas that of BJP candidates was 5.3 crore. Both Congress and BJP are banking on senior leaders, with Congress presenting existing Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh as the leader and BJP betting on former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. Recent surveys have shown that BJP has an edge in this election, but polls have always been uncertain. Things will become clear only on December 18 when the results will be announced.