As many as 38 candidates are in the fray for four Lok Sabha seats in Himachal Pradesh, which is virtually witnessing a direct fight between BJP and Congress.
Out of these candidates, 12 are contesting from Kangra, 10 in Hamirpur, nine in Mandi and seven in Shimla (reserve) parliamentary constituency, but it seems to be a duel between BJP and Congress, except in Kangra where BJP rebel and sitting MP Rajan Sushant is fighting on AAP ticket.
The BJP, Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, BSP and Samajwadi Party have fielded candidates from all seats while CPI(M) and Shiv Sena are contesting two seats each and eleven independents are also in the fray.
Former HP Chief Minister Shanta Kumar, sitting MPs, Pratibha Singh (Congress), Anurag Thakur and Virender Kashyap (BJP) and Sushant are in the fray.
However, only four women candidates are contesting the elections including Pratibha Singh, sitting Congress MP seeking reelection from Mandi and AAP candidate Kamal Kanta Batra, mother of Kargil martyr Captain Vikram Batra, is contesting from Hamirpur.
The number of electorate increased by 1,37,539 in Himachal from 46,06,674 in 2009 Lok Sabha polls to 47,44,213 in 2014 and 62,133 first time voters in the age group of 18-19 years have been added.
Taking into account the service voters the total number of voters in four Lok sabha seats in the state has increased to 48,10,071.
The Election Commission has set up 7,382 polling booths including 527 booths in urban and 6855 in rural areas.