The stage is all set for the Assembly elections in Uttarakhand on Monday to elect 70 members to the Vidhan Sabha. Tight security arrangements have been made to ensure a free and fair election.

More than 63 lakh voters are expected to exercise their franchise in the elections in which the ruling BJP is locked in a close fight with the Congress.

Polling parties have reached their destinations in high-altitude and remote areas, the State's Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi said.

Campaigning for the elections came to an end on Saturday,

A total of 788 candidates are trying their luck. The BJP and the Congress are contesting all 70 seats.

Star campaigners from both the parties crisscrossed the State during the electioneering to boost the fortunes of their candidates.

Cacophony missing

With the Election Commission strongly enforcing the model code of conduct to check money power, the cacophony of the electioneering was missing this time. Stating that elaborate arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of polling, Ms. Raturi said the poll personnel deployed in high-altitude areas were provided with sleeping bags, snow-boot and jackets.

An Indian Air Force helicopter was stationed at Sarsawa for rescue purpose to meet any eventuality, she said.

A total of 75 companies of the Central paramilitary force besides 10,000 homeguards from Uttar Pradesh, 2000 homeguards from Himachal Pradesh and 10,000 personnel from Uttarakhand police have been deployed for the conduct of polls.

Ms. Raturi said 9,744 polling stations were set up across the State, of which 1,794 stations have been declared sensitive and 1,252 hyper-sensitive.

A sum of Rs 1.40 crore has so far been seized in various parts of the State. Apart from this, nearly 14,000 litres liquor was seized during the period. About 100 cases of model code of conduct violation were registered.

She said all government offices, schools, colleges, industrial establishments and shops have been asked to remain closed on Monday in view of the polling. It will be a paid holiday for the employees.