Sixty-eight Assembly seats will on Thursday go to the polls in a single phase in Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh, where the BJP is determined to take power. Officials said everything was in place for a smooth conduct of the polling in 7,525 booths.
A total of 5.025 million electorate, including 1.9 million women and 14 transgenders, will decide the fate of 338 candidates including 19 women. The vote count will be held on December 18 along with those of Gujarat.
The CPI-M has fielded candidates on 14 seats while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which made its debut in the hill state in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, has preferred to stay away.
Political observers say the contest between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is neck and neck as there is no clear wave in favour of any party.
It is literally a do-or-die battle for both the Chief Ministerial faces. Both are struggling for their political survival.
One is veteran Congress leader and incumbent Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, 83, who is pushing hard to get to the helm for the seventh time.