Shimla, June 27 (IANS) Polling for the second and last phase of the Mandi Lok Sabha by-election in Himachal Pradesh's rain-hit Kinnaur district Thursday saw 54 percent voter turnout, an election official said.
"The turnout was just 11 percent in the first two hours but by noon it picked up pace," Chief Electoral Officer Narender Chauhan told IANS.
No untoward incident was reported except at the Shalkhar polling booth, where minor skirmishes were reported, Chauhan said.
A total of 52,345 electors, including 25,285 women, were eligible to vote in 118 polling booths.
The main contestants are Congress's Pratibha Singh, wife of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator and former cabinet minister Jai Ram Thakur.
The election commission had postponed voting in the landslide-hit Kinnaur district as it was cut off from the rest of state owing to torrential rains June 16-18.
Chauhan said alternative arrangements for decentralised counting of vote in the Kinnaur segment has been made by the election commission in view of adverse weather conditions.
Polling in the remaining 16 constituencies of the Mandi seat was held June 23 and it recorded nearly 52 percent voter turnout.
The counting of votes will be held simultaneously June 30.
The by-election was necessitated after Virbhadra Singh relinquished the seat following his election to the assembly in December 2012.
The Mandi constituency, which includes Kullu, Mandi and some areas of Chamba and Shimla districts, besides the tribal-dominated Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti, is one of the biggest in the country.