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64 per cent turnout in Punjab

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A paramilitary jawan keeps guard as voters queue up to cast their vote at a polling station in Fatehgarh Sahib on Wednesday.
A paramilitary jawan keeps guard as voters queue up to cast their vote at a polling station in Fatehgarh Sahib on Wednesday.

Special Correspondent

Except for some minor incidents, the day passed off peacefully in the State

CHANDIGARH: The people of Punjab reiterated their confidence in the democratic process as at least 64 per cent of the about 1.16 crore voters across nine of the 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in the State exercised their right to franchise in the final phase of polling on Wednesday. Except for some minor incidents, the day passed off peacefully.

An official of the Election Office said that while the final voter turnout figures would come in by Thursday morning, maximum polling was reported from Khadoor Sahib where 69 per cent voters exercised their right. Hoshiarpur with a 61 per cent turnout was at the bottom of the list. In the previous phase of polling for the four seats on May 7, about 73 per cent voting was recorded.

In Wednesday’s polling, the fate of 129 male and 10 female candidates was sealed in the electronic voting machines. Prominent among them are cricketer-turned-television-personality Navjot Singh Sidhu from Amritsar, film star Vinod Khanna in Gurdaspur, renowned Punjabi folk and sufi singer Hans Raj Hans in Jalandhar, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal at Fatehgarh Sahib, AICC spokesman Manish Tewari from Ludhiana and Punjab Youth Congress president Ravneet Singh Bittu at Anandpur Sahib.

A statement from the Punjab Police headquarters quoting Police Chief K. K. Attari said five cases were registered in Anandpur Sahib, Gurdaspur, Fatehgarh Sahib and Faridkot constituencies. Two Congress MLAs, Joginder Pal Jain and Darshan Singh Brar, were booked in separate cases in Moga town under the Faridkot constituency. While Mr Jain was accused of using casteist remarks, Mr. Brar entered a polling station without permission of the authorities.

In another case, a journalist of a TV channel has filed a complaint at the Sadar police station in Moga district against a mob of unidentified persons who allegedly threw some liquid on him, snatched his camera and assaulted him as well as his crew. The journalist, who was identified as Sandeep Kumar, alleged that an unidentified person from the mob also fired a shot at them.


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