Sunday, January 29, 2012

Voting underway for close fight in Punjab, Uttarakhand

New Delhi: Around 1.76 crore voters will seal the fate of 1,078 candidates, including the two Chief Ministerial aspirants Parkash Singh Badal of ruling SAD-BJP and Amarinder Singh of opposition Congress, in fray for 117 assembly seats in Punjab where polling began on Monday amidst tight security at 8 am. The battle for electoral politics in Uttarakhand is also taking place on Monday.

In Punjab, despite the winter chill, some polling booths, especially in rural areas, saw people lined up for voting before the booths were officially opened. In most parts of the state, it was a bright and sunny day.

In Jalandhar, voters started queuing up around 7.30 a.m itself despite the cold. In Badal village, the ancestral village of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, villagers started arriving at the polling station before 8 am.

Over 73,000 security personnel, including 200 companies of paramilitary forces, have been deployed to ensure smooth and peaceful polling. The main contest is between the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance and the opposition Congress. A third front, Sanjha Morcha, has been formed recently and is led by former finance minister Manpreet Badal's newly floated People's Party of Punjab (PPP).

Five assembly constituencies - Patiala, Lambi, Bholath, Majithia and Jalalabad - have been declared hyper-sensitive while 33 constituencies have been declared sensitive by the EC. The total number of voters in the state are 17,683,559 out of which 8,361,014 are women voters. Read More

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