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Himachal Pradesh Congress President Pratibha Singh on Wednesday expelled as many as 30 party leaders from the primary membership of the party for the next six years for anti-party activities. The update comes only a day before the poll results will be declared for the state assembly elections. Exit polls on Monday predicted a sweeping win for the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state.

Himachal Pradesh Congress President Pratibha Singh on Wednesday expelled as many as 30 party leaders from the primary membership of the party for the next six years for anti-party activities. The update comes only a day before the poll results will be declared for the state assembly elections. Exit polls on Monday predicted a sweeping win for the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state. 

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The counting of votes will commence at 8 am in 68 counting halls spread across 59 locations throughout the state, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Maneesh Garg said on Wednesday. First, the postal ballots will be counted, which will start at 8 am and at 8.30 am EVM counting will commence. 

More than 10,000 security personnel, returning officers, and other support staff will oversee the counting of votes for the Himachal Pradesh assembly polls on Thursday.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Maneesh Garg said that subject to availability of space, a maximum of 14 counting tables and a minimum of eight counting tables will be placed in the counting halls, with a separate table to accommodate nearly 500 postal ballots.

There will also be separate tables for scanning of electronically transmitted postal ballots linked to computers for counting.

"Meetings with representatives of the political parties at state, district and sub-division levels were held earlier and they have been asked to depute their counting agents for ensuring transparency," Garg said.

No candidate or any other person will be allowed within 100 metres of counting centres except those with a valid identity card/pass issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

About 76.44% of voters had exercised their franchise in the assembly polls held on November 12. The voter turnout was higher in the rural area than the urban region.

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