Shimla: Polling for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly election began this morning and the fate of the 337 candidates contesting in 68 constituencies will be sealed in the electronic voting machines by evening. Polling will close at 5pm but the counting of votes will be taken up on December 18 along with the Gujarat polls, to be held next month.

More than 50 lakh people will cast their votes for 68-member legislative assembly.

This election is crucial for chief minister Virbhadra Singh, 83, who will be eyeing his record eighth election to Himachal Pradesh legislative assembly and seventh stint as chief minister of the state. Singh has already announced that this was going to be his last election and is set to hand over the baton to his son Vikramditya who his contesting his debut

election from his father's seat of Shimla (rural) seat. Virbhadra is contesting this election from Arki.

Apart from a strong anti-incumbency this time, the chief minister has also faced the onslaught of corruption charges against him. Virbhadra, however, has led a determined campaign against the BJP which fielded almost all its top national leaders at rallies including PM Modi, party chief Amit Shah, UP CM Yogi Aditya Nath and several national leaders.