Punjab polls: 49.81 per cent voting till 3 pm

DN Bureau

An average voter turnout of 49.81 per cent was recorded till 3 pm in Punjab on Sunday.

Polling booth number 158 to 161 at Govt Girls Sr. Sec. School, Moga
Polling booth number 158 to 161 at Govt Girls Sr. Sec. School, Moga

Chandigarh: An average voter turnout of 49.81 per cent was recorded till 3 pm in Punjab on Sunday.

Voting for 117 Assembly seats in the state was underway amid tight security arrangements.

Polling started at 8 am and will continue till 6 pm.

A total of 1,304 candidates, including 93 women and two transgenders, are in the fray for the high-stake electoral contest.

Counting of votes will take place on March 10.

Among many places, Amritsar recorded a voter turnout of 4.14 per cent till 9 am, Barnala 6.70 per cent, Fatehgarh Sahib 6.94 percent, Fazilka 6.61 per cent, Malerkotla 8.01 per cent and Muktsar 6.21 per cent.

Queues of voters could be seen at the polling stations in the morning. Many youngsters were exercising their franchise for the first time.

Among those who voted in the morning included state ministers Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Manpreet Singh Badal, Pargat Singh and Vijay Inder Singla, Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa and Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma.

AAP's chief ministerial face Bhagwant Mann exercised his franchise in Mohali.

Mann appealed to people to come out in large numbers to cast their votes.

Former Congress chief Sunil Jakhar could be seen standing in a queue to cast his vote at a polling station in Abohar.

People were given masks, gloves and their hands were sanitised at the polling booths.

In the morning, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi paid obeisance at religious places at his home constituency Chamkaur Sahib.

There are 2,14,99,804 voters, including 1,02,00,996 women.

Punjab Chief Electoral Officer S Karuna Raju said there are 24,740 polling stations, of which 2,013 have been identified as critical and 2,952 as vulnerable.

The state is witnessing a multi-cornered contest among the Congress, AAP, SAD-BSP, BJP-PLC-SAD (Sanyukt) and the Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM), a political front of various farmer bodies.

The Shiromani Akali Dal is contesting the polls in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

The BJP is fighting the elections in alliance with Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Lok Congress and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa-led SAD (Sanyukt).

The SSM is contesting the polls with Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union (Chaduni) leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni-led Sanyukt Sangharsh Party.

Prominent faces in the fray include Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, Aam Aadmi Party's chief ministerial face Bhagwant Mann, Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu, former CMs Amarinder Singh and Parkash Singh Badal, and Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma and former Union minister Vijay Sampla are also in the contest.

A total of 700 companies of the central armed police force besides the state police personnel have been deployed for the peaceful conduct of the polls.

There are 196 pink polling stations for women while 70 polling stations are being managed by persons with disabilities (PwD).(PTI)

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