The world's highest polling station at 15,256 feet in Tashigang village of Himachal Pradesh Sunday recorded an unbelievable 142.85 per cent voter turn out. And all votes were duly declared valid.
In another unique feature of the country's democratic exercise, the smallest polling booth Ka, located near Tashigang in Sipti valley itself and having only 16 registered voters, the poll percentage stood at over 81.25 percent. A total of 13 voters cast their votes in Ka.
Against merely 49 registered voters in the Tashigang electoral roll, a total of 70 voters cast their votes at the village polling booth, said Kaza Sub Divisional Mangistrate Jeewan Negi.
The unbelievable spike in the poll percentage was attributed to the desire of many poll officials, deployed at Tashiganag and other neighbouring polling booths to cast their votes at the world''s highest polling station, located at a dizzying height of 12,256 ft.
Out of the 49 registered voters of Tashigang village, a total of 36 villagers cast their votes. They included 21 males and 15 females, who together accounted for nearly 74 percent turnout among village voters.
The poll officials cast their votes at Tashigang polling booth after showing their election duty certificate (EDCs) issued to them by concerned assistant returning officers, he added.
Tashigang is a village near an ancient monastery in Himachal Pradesh. It is the highest settlement in Spiti Valley near the India-Tibet border with villages Nako and Khab located nearby and is connected to Shimla by National Highway 22.
Tashigang acquired the unique distinction of becoming the highest polling station during the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections in 2017, when the erstwhile polling station Hikkim at the highest altitude of 14,400 ft was replaced by Tashigang due to some technical reasons, said HP''s Assistant Chief Electoral Officer Harbans Lal Dhiman.
Hikkim is located 160 km from Tashigang.
The polling at Tashigang began at 7 am when the temperature was below freezing point. Voters came to the polling station wearing their traditional attire to beat the chilly weather.
Both Tashigang and Ka polling stations fall under the Mandi parliamentary seat where the highest number of 17 candidates among the four Lok Sabha seats in the state are in the fray.
Mandi is witnessing a direct contest between the BJP and the Congress.
Former Union Minister Sukh Ram's grandson Aashray Sharma is pitted as a Congress candidate here against sitting BJP MP Ram Swaroop Sharma.
Aashray Sharma's father Anil Sharma, who was a minister in the Jai Ram Thakur-led BJP government in Himachal, had to resign from the Cabinet as he was unwilling to campaign against his son to favour the BJP candidate.
Mandi being his home, Himachal Chief Minister Thakur''s prestige is at stake here with veteran politician Sukh Ram too leaving no stone unturned to ensure his grandson Aashray''s victory.
Five MLAs, including a state minister, are among the 45 candidates trying to make it to the Parliament from the state where polling is underway.
There are 53,30,154 registered voters for the four constituencies -- Shimla (SC), Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra -- in the state.