Amid elaborate arrangements, more than 1.77 crore voters will exercise their franchise to elect 117 legislators for the 14th Assembly of Punjab in polling scheduled for Monday.
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As many as 1,078 candidates, including 93 women, are in the fray.
According to the details provided by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer here, 19,841 polling stations, including 117 auxiliary booths, have been set up across 22 districts. Of these, 2,718 have been declared hyper-sensitive and 6,378 sensitive. More than 1.35 lakh civil and police personnel have been deployed.
To ensure adequate security, 225 companies of the paramilitary forces and 12 companies of the police from other States, apart from 55,804 personnel of the Punjab police, have been deployed. The security forces will set up 374 checkpoints in all constituencies to monitor the movement of anti-social elements, while 137 checkpoints will be erected to prevent the entry of unscrupulous elements from other States.
The Election Department will deploy at least one flying squad in every constituency to do random checking of the arrangements and ensure proper polling.
So far, the authorities have seized 71 arms, Rs.33.66 crore in unaccounted cash, 6,97,106 bottles of liquor, 31,947 litres of illicit brew, 2,27,588 kg of lahan (molasses to brew liquor), 99 kg of opium, 18 kg of drug powder, 23.05 kg of heroin, 3.793 kg of smack, 88,296 capsules, 9,52,675 tablets and 4,362 bottles of syrup. The police have arrested 275 proclaimed offenders.
While Gill in Ludhiana district is the largest constituency with 1,94,331 voters, Nakodar in Jalandhar will account for the highest number of polling stations, at 238. Amloh in Fatehgarh Sahib district, with 1,13,952 electors, is the smallest constituency. Ludhiana East, Jalalabad and Patiala Rural have 16 candidates each, the highest number in the present elections, while the reserved seat of Attari has just four contestants.
99.7% have photo IDs
The Election Department has claimed that 99.7 per cent of the electorate has been given the photo identity card. After polling, the voting machines will be kept in 56 counting centres. They will be guarded by paramilitary forces till March 6, when the results will be declared.