Shimla, (PTI): The fate of 459 candidates vying for the 68 assembly segments of Himachal Pradesh, sealed in EVMs for past 46 days, would be decided Thursday 20 December with the counting of votes starting simultaneously for all the seats.
Over 4,500 security personnel have been deployed at 39 places where 68 centres have been set up for counting and all the results are expected by afternoon.
As many as 33.49 lakh voters had exercised their franchise in the one-day polling on November 4 last and sealed the fate of 459 candidates including Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and HPCC chief Virbhadra Singh.
There are 106 independents and 26 women candidates in the fray, whereas the ruling BJP and Congress are contesting on all seats.
The state has recorded highest polling of 74.70 percent which was slightly higher than the 74.51 per cent polling in 2003.
The total expenditure on polls was about Rs 10 crore which included the expenditure of Rs 4 crore on security forces, guarding the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) at various places for 46 days.
The counting of postal ballots would be taken up first followed by counting of votes of EVMs.
The EVMs from tribal Lahaul and Spiti district and Pangi were brought to Kullu immediately after the polls for counting. The election in all 68 assembly constituencies, including three tribal constituencies were held simultaneously in the state after a gap of 19 years.
The elections were held simultaneously in November 1993 polls. Needless to say that the politicians are waiting for the results with bated breath.