Punjab Voter Turnout: A Democratic Surge Amid Heatwave

In Punjab, a voter turnout of 9.64% was reported in the first two hours of polling for 13 Lok Sabha seats, with Chandigarh recording 11.64%. Political leaders, including Punjab's Chief Minister, cast their votes early. The elections are marked by tight security and provisions for voters amid heatwave conditions.

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 01-06-2024 10:16 IST | Created: 01-06-2024 10:16 IST
Punjab Voter Turnout: A Democratic Surge Amid Heatwave
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A voter turnout of 9.64 per cent was witnessed in the first two hours of polling in the 13 Lok Sabha constituencies of Punjab on Saturday.

In the lone seat of Chandigarh, the voter turnout was recorded at 11.64 per cent.

Amid tight security arrangements, polling began at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm, officials said.

Among the 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in Punjab, Ferozepur recorded a turnout of 11.61 per cent, followed by Sangrur with 11.36 per cent.

The voter turnout in Amritsar was 7.22 per cent, Anandpur Sahib 9.53 per cent, Bathinda 9.74 per cent, Faridkot 9.83 per cent, Fatehgarh Sahib 8.27 per cent, Gurdaspur 8.81 per cent, Hoshiarpur 9.66 per cent, Jalandhar 9.34 per cent, Khadoor Sahib 9.71 per cent, Ludhiana 9.08 per cent and Patiala 10.98 per cent, as per Election Commission data.

Voters, including elders, women and youngsters, queued up early morning at several polling stations to exercise their franchise.

Among those who cast their votes early were Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, state BJP chief Sunil Jakhar, AAP leader Raghav Chadha, Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema, AAP candidate Malvinder Singh Kang, BJP candidate Taranjit Singh Sandhu, SAD candidate Anil Joshi, AAP candidates Karamjit Singh Anmol and Laljit Bhullar and former cricketer Harbhajan Singh.

Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, along with his wife, cast his vote in Muktsar. Congress candidate Gurjeet Singh Aujla exercised his franchise in Amritsar while BJP candidate Sanjay Tandon along with his family voted in Chandigarh.

An EVM developed a technical snag at a polling booth in Khuddian village in Muktsar.

Speaking to reporters in Sangrur, Mann appealed to the people of Punjab to exercise their franchise and expressed hope that voters in cities and rural areas will come out in large numbers to cast their votes.

His wife Gurpreet Kaur too appealed to women to come out in large numbers to cast their votes.

In Mohali, AAP leader Chadha appealed to people to exercise their franchise.

''Each vote will decide the country's 'disha' (direction) and 'dasha' (condition),'' he said.

Among the prominent faces, BJP nominee and four-time MP Preneet Kaur is seeking a re-election from the Patiala parliamentary constituency.

The SAD's Harsimrat Kaur Badal, a three-time MP, and the BJP's Parampal Kaur Sidhu, a former IAS officer, are trying their luck from Bathinda.

Former chief minister and Congress candidate Charanjit Singh Channi and BJP nominee Sushil Rinku are in the fray from the Jalandhar reserved constituency.

Former deputy chief minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa is contesting from Gurdaspur.

Warring is contesting against the BJP's Ravneet Singh Bittu from Ludhiana.

Radical Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh, who is lodged in Assam's Dibrugarh jail under the National Security Act (NSA), is fighting from Khadoor Sahib.

Former diplomat and BJP nominee Taranjit Singh Sandhu is fighting from Amritsar while Congress candidate Gurjeet Singh Aujla is contesting to retain this seat.

Of all its 13 candidates, the AAP has fielded five cabinet ministers -- Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal (Amritsar), Laljit Singh Bhullar (Khadoor Sahib), Gurmeet Singh Khuddian (Bathinda), Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer (Sangrur) and Balbir Singh (Patiala).

Congress candidate Sukhpal Khaira is contesting from Sangrur while AAP's Karamjit Singh Anmol and the BJP's Hans Raj Hans are in the fray from the Faridkot seat.

SAD (Amritsar) chief Simranjit Singh Mann is contesting from Sangrur and Sarabjeet Singh Khalsa, who is the son of Beant Singh, one of the two assassins of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, is contesting from the Faridkot reserved constituency.

In Chandigarh, BJP candidate Sanjay Tandon is pitted against Congress nominee and former Union minister Manish Tewari.

A total of 328 candidates, including 26 women, are in the fray in Punjab while 19 candidates comprising two women are fighting the elections in Chandigarh, the officials said.

Drinking water, shades, 'chabeel' (sweetened water), medical kits, oral rehydration solution (ORS) and the likes have been arranged at polling stations given the heatwave conditions, the officials said.

A total of 2,14,61,739 voters, including 1,01,74,240 women and 773 third-gender electors, are eligible to vote in Punjab.

In Chandigarh, 6,59,805 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise.

INDIA bloc allies Congress and AAP are contesting the polls separately while the BJP and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) are fighting the Lok Sabha polls on their own for the first time since 1996.

The Sukhbir Badal-led SAD walked out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 2020 over the now-repealed three farm laws.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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