73% Turnout in Punjab, Highest Since 1967

All 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab went to polls on Wednesday, where Amritsar sees a high-profile contest between BJP’s Arun Jaitley and Congress’s Amarinder Singh. Photo: PTI
Chandigarh: A record 73% of total 19.5 million electors on Wednesday voted to elect 13 Lok Sabha MPs from Punjab where the polling was largely peaceful, barring few incidents of violence.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Arun Jaitley and Congress’s Amarinder Singh are involved in a high-profile contest for Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency.
The voter turnout was 73%, additional chief electoral officer Raminder Singh said, adding that the polling was by and large peaceful throughout the state. “No major incident was reported across the state as the polling was more or less peaceful,” he said.
Earlier in 1967 general polls, Punjab had registered 71.13% polling, the highest ever in the state.
Voters turned out in large numbers to exercise their franchise amid sun beating down since morning as Punjab recorded a sizzling above 40 degrees Celsius temperature at most places.
Ten persons were injured in a clash between Akali Dal and Congress workers at Sangatpura village in Moga district, officials said, adding that three workers from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) sustained injuries after a brawl between them and Akalis at Devigarh village in Patiala Lok Sabha constituency. AAP candidate from Patiala Dharamvir Gandhi was injured after he was allegedly attacked by some 25 unidentified youths owing allegiance to SAD-BJP at Rassolpura Saidan village in Patiala constituency, sources said.
Three persons were injured when supporters of SAD nominee Manpreet Singh and Independent candidate and sitting MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains clashed at Kot Mangal Singh locality in Ludhiana, police said, adding that two vehicles were also vandalised during the conflict. Some Akali Dal workers allegedly vandalized the control unit of EVM at the Bajwa Colony in Patiala, officials said.
Minor clashes also took place between Akali and Congress supporters at Amritsar and Khadoor Sahib, but no one was injured in it. The Akali workers earlier vandalized the booth of Congress party and tried to take control, officials said.
Polling came to a halt at Booth no. 166 in SD Model School in Phagwara for half an hour after the EVMs developed a technical snag, officials said, adding that polling resumed after the balloting units were replaced. Besides, 3 other malfunctioning EVMs were replaced at booth numbers 104, 137 and 151 in Phagwara.

An election voting machine (EVM) was broken at polling booth no 162 here on Wednesday, as some Akali workers clashed with polling staff and smashed the machine by putting it on the ground. The polling station falls in ward no 18 of Patiala rural assembly segment.

Akali Dal workers break voting machine at Patiala, FIR registered

An FIR has been registered in this regard.

According to the presiding officer, three youth came inside the polling station and inquired about the number of votes polled. “After they got to know about the number, they tossed the machine in air which broke after it fell on the ground,” said the presiding officer.

Following the incident, assistant Returning officer Gurpreet Singh Thind reached the polling station along with heavy force and ordered an FIR.

In separate incident, Akali councilor Rajinder Virk allegedly slapped AAP workers in his ward.
Meanwhile, after Akali workers had beaten some Congressmen, the Congress workers blocked the Patiala-Patran road.

 Source HT

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