Election officials, accompanied by representatives of various political parties, opened the strong room in Himachal Pradesh's Reckong Peo on Monday morning after what appeared to be smoke was detected in the CCTV camera footage, a district official said.
Firefighters reached the spot in no time as it was feared that a fire had broken out, he said.
However, later it was found that the cameras were set to the night vision mode and dust particles spreading in a corner of the strong room gave the impression that it was smoke, he said.
Subsequently, the setting of the CCTV cameras was changed and the strong room was sealed again, the official said.
Reckong Peo, also known as Peo, is the district headquarters of Kinnaur. The strong room is located in Bachat Bhawan and 252 electronic voting machines (EVMs) from 126 polling stations of Kinnaur assembly segment, falling under the Mandi Lok Sabha constituency, have been kept.
Mandi saw 17 candidates -- the highest in all constituencies, try their luck in the Lok Sabha polls.
Political scenario in the state:
A BJP bastion, the state has seen a bipolar contest in its history, with the two national parties Congress and BJP in a direct fight with each other.
For the first time, Congress' six-time chief minister and five-time parliamentarian Vidarbha Singh and BJP's two time chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal is out of the poll fray. Though the BJP has been making inroads in the state since 1951, till 1977 Congress won all the seats here. In 2014, the state was influenced by the Modi wave and voted for the saffron party. But this year there have been waves of anti-incumbency against the party due to the increased import duty on apples. This election in the state a test for the BJP that is in centre versus severe infighting within the Congress.
The key contest in the state is in Hamirpur which will be a litmus-test for BJP's three times young MP and former state president of the party Anurag Thakur who is facing stiff competition from the Congress to wrest his party's bastion - the Hamirpur Lok Sabha constituency. The Congress which has won this seat only once in the past 30years has pitted former athlete and five-time legislator Ram Lal Thakur against former BCCI chief Anurag Thakur.