Shimla: Polling began on Sunday morning for the Shimla Municipal Corporation, one of India's oldest civic bodies, with the mayor and the deputy mayor to get elected directly by voters for the first time.

Electors could be seen reaching polling stations even before voting started at 7 am.

An election official told IANS there has been no report of any delay in starting the poll process.

As many as 79,956 electorate, including 36,194 women, will exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 83 candidates who are in the fray from 25 wards, besides 12 candidates for the posts of mayor and deputy mayor.

At present, the Congress has the highest number of 15 members in the corporation, the BJP eight and the Communist Party of India-Marxist(CPI-M) two.

The Congress has controlled the corporation for the past 25 years.

The main contest for the post of mayor is among Madhu Sood (Congress), SS Minhas (BJP) and Sanjay Chauhan (CPM). For the post of deputy mayor,Devinder Chauhan (Congress), Digvjay Singh Chauhan (BJP) and Tikender Panwar (CPM) are in the fray.

As many as 151 polling stations have been set up where electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used.
The votes will be counted on Monday.

(Agencies)
 
 
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