Polling ends in Goa, Punjab

An elderly voter displays his inked finger at a polling booth in Chappar Chiri village near Mohali in Punjab on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

Polling began on Saturday morning in Punjab and Goa.

Punjab is witnessing a three-cornered contest between the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance, the Congress and the new entrant Aam Aadmi Party.

In Goa, the election is being closely fought by the BJP, the Congress, the AAP and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party-led alliance, who have been campaigning in the coastal state for last two months.

The AAP is hoping to open its account in both the States.


Here are the updates:

Goa | 6.30 p.m.

83% voter turnout in Goa

A high voter turnout of over 83 per cent was on Saturday recorded in the Assembly polls in Goa, where the ruling BJP is engaged in a fierce fight with the Opposition Congress, AAP and an alliance of MGP, Shiv Sena and GSM for the 40-member House.

According to EC sources, the poll percentage could go up as there are long queues of voters at many booths across the state even after 5 p.m.

Read more

Punjab | 6 p.m.

70% polling in Punjab

Punjab recorded an estimated 70% polling during which technical glitches and stray incidents of violence were reported in the State which is seeing a high-stake contest among the Congress, new entrant AAP and the ruling SAD-BJP combine. The number is likely to go up as voters are still in queues, waiting for their turn.

Read more

Punjab | 5:20 p.m.

Confident of Congress’ clean sweep across Punjab: Amarinder

Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Saturday termed the Assembly polls as a “vote for stability versus communalism and radicalism” and exuded confidence of a clean sweep in the State, including the Malwa region, which poll pundits had been terming as an AAP stronghold.

The chief ministerial candidate of the Congress, who exercised his franchise at Government College for Women in Patiala, promised to usher in the “much-needed new dawn (navan savera)” in the State.

Terming the elections as a vote for peace, communal harmony and stability, he claimed, “The people have voted for stability versus communal and radical politics.”


Punjab | 5:10 p.m.

Polling ends in Punjab

People standing in queue will be allowed to cast their votes, reports our correspondent Vikas Vasudeva.

PTI adds: The final figure of Saturday’s voting is still awaited as all those who were inside the polling booths will be allowed to vote, an election official spokesman said in Chandigarh.


Punjab | 4:45 p.m.

VVPAT machines develop technical snag

Chandigarh Several voters across the State experienced problems during the polling process on Saturday, as a large number of voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines, installed for the first time in the ongoing Punjab Assembly elections, developed a technical snag.

Reports of a large number of machines not able to function due to technical snag have come in from Amritsar, Muktsar and Sangrur district. Due to the problem, polling had to be called off a number of times, Punjab Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) V.K. Singh said, adding these machines were replaced by others.

The election commission has installed VVPAT machines in 33 of the 117 constituencies for the Assembly polls and two Assembly segments as part of the Amritsar by-polls.

The election commission raised apprehensions regarding performance of the paper-trail machine, which gives a receipt to the voter, verifying the vote casted in favour of the candidate, against whose name the button is pressed. — PTI

Punjab | 4. 50 p.m.

66% voter turnout in Punjab at 4 p.m.

The polling, which is underway for the Punjab Assembly elections for 117 Assembly seats, witnessed a 66% voter turnout at 4 p.m. Polling began in Punjab amid heavy security, with 1,145 candidates contesting across 117 seats.

Punjab | 4:30 p.m.

Heated exchanges between Bikram Majithia and Lalli Majithia

Punjab minister and Akali candidate Bikram Singh Majithia and Congress nominee Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lalli Majithia on Saturday had heated exchange of words after the former raised objection over allegedly bringing vehicles inside a polling station in Majitha.

The State Revenue Minister apparently asked the Congress candidate to take his vehicles out of the polling booth.

“Do not break the rules,” a visibly charged Mr. Bikram Majithia told his opponent. “Take the vehicles out. Nobody will break the law here. You (Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lalli) are a candidate. You do not know the rules. How could you do that (bring the vehicles inside)? How could you influence (voters)? Take these vehicles out,” he asked Mr. Lalli Majithia.

The Congress candidate retorted, “Do not try to vitiate the atmosphere.” He then asked his driver to take the vehicles out. An agitated Mr. Lalli Majithia also took a jibe at the Akali candidate, saying “Do not cry when you are losing (elections).”

Mr. Bikram Majithia hit back by saying, “You will come to know now who is losing.”

Bikram Majithia, brother-in-law of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, is seeking re-election for the third time from Majitha seat on development plank.

The new entrant AAP has nominated Himmat Singh Shergill from the seat. — PTI

Goa | 4:20 p.m.

67% voter turnout as of 3 p.m.

North Goa: 70% 

South Goa: 65%

Goa State: 67%

Highest voting in North Goa: Sanqulim 72.81%, Calangute 70.59%, Maye 70.15%

Highest voting in North Goa: Priol 69.63%, Murgao 69.23%, Velim 63.84%

Punjab | 04:10 p.m.

106-year-old Mala Devi exercises her franchise

In the autumn of her life, 106-year-old Mala Devi on Saturday sent out a message to voters by making efforts to exercise her franchise in Ludhiana. Ms. Devi of ward number 12 at Guru Arjan Dev Nagar cast her vote at booth number 132, Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Ravi Bhagat said. She was provided pick-up and drop facility by the Ludhiana administration, he said.

Ludhiana’s poll volunteers went to her residence and brought her, accompanied by some family members, to the polling station and dropped her home after she cast her vote, he said. Poll officials also helped her to the booth in a wheel chair. She was also presented a rose as a goodwill gesture.

District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Ravi Bhagat said the administration, through volunteers, are approaching such voters at their residence to bring them to the polling booth. “We are in process of identifying more with an aim to help all of them cast their votes till the end of the polling,” said Mr. Bhagat. - PTI

Punjab | 3 p.m.

Punjab sees 56.9% voter turnout till 3 p.m.

Punjab | 2.30 p.m.

Punjab sees 48% polling till 2.30 pm.

Punjab | 2.11 p.m.

Forty per cent polling in Punjab till 1:30 p.m.

Goa | 1.20 p.m.

Voter turnout in Goa as of 1 p.m.

North Goa: 53.35% 

South Goa: 47.87%

Goa state 50.39%

Read more

Punjab | 1.10 p.m.

There are reports of technical snag in EVMs with VVPAT in a few places, including Sirhind, Mohali, Chanarthal, Muktsar, Majitha and Barnala.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Capt. Amarinder Singh casts his vote in Patiala, says people are with the Congress and party would be forming next government in Punjab.

AAP leader Bhagwant Mann says the Akali Dal and the Congress are fighting for the second and the third position. The AAP is all set to win the elections.

Polling percentage update | 12.39 p.m.


32% polling reported in Punjab till 12 noon; Goa registers a voting of 53 % till 1p.m.

Goa | 11.40 a.m.


Polling in Goa stands at 34% at 11 a.m. North Goa registers a voting percentage of 33% and South Goa 34%.  The pace of voting has picked up in the last one hour.

Cricketer-turned-politican Navjot S. Sidhu says he will give Rahul Gandhi a "great gift, with Congress' revival" as he arrives with wife Navjot Kaur to vote at a booth in Amritsar.

Goa | 11.38 a.m.

First-time women voters in Goa get a pink teddy bear.   Members of Chitrangi, a women’s collective, met Goa Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Kunal last week to register their objection to the programme of giving pink teddy bear to first-time female voters, as announced by the commission in order to encourage voting.

First-time women voters were given pink teddy bears in a polling booth in Taleigão in Goa.

First-time women voters were given pink teddy bears in a polling booth in Taleigão in Goa.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe


Goa has more female voters than male voters as per latest electoral rolls.


Punjab | 10.53 a.m.

The Election Commission of India says there has been 12% polling till 10.30 a.m.

Punjab | 10.02 a.m.

Gen. (retired) J.J. Singh says it is the first time a three-cornered fight is being witnessed in Patiala. I'm sure of winning as people are with me. Capt. Amarinder is going to lose. Having sensed his defeat, he has gone to contest from Lambi seat."

Meanwhile, the overall polling is 8% till 9:30 a.m.

Goa | 9.38 a.m.

Brisk polling under way

Voting is brisk in Goa. The overall polling as of 9 a.m. is 15%. North registers 16%,  while South 14%. In the 2012 Assembly elections, the overall polling percentage was 82.5.

A senior election official tells The Hindu that final voting percentage could be low, at around 77-78%.


Punjab | 9.21 a.m.

BJP manifesto promises land to Dalits, houses to poor

The BJP has promised a slew of populist schemes in its manifesto for Punjab. Providing sugar and ghee at low prices, houses to the poor, land to Dalits and backwards, besides assuring Rs. five lakh assistance to the families affected by militancy are some of them.

Read more


Congress dishes out sops

Farm loan waiver and free power, smart phones, free textbooks and doles to unemployed youth, a promise to wipe out the drug trade and revive the economy all feature in the Congress manifesto for Punjab, a State in which the party has been out of power for 10 years.

Read more


9.10 a.m.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweets:


Goa | 8.27 a.m.

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar casts his vote at a polling booth in North Goa's Arambol.  "We will win with complete and comfortable majority, will continue development work and most importantly job creation," he says.

Punjab | 8.07 a.m.

Voting begins in 117 Assembly constituencies (for 1,145 candidates) in Punjab.

Date | Time


'I have lost four kgs in Delhi — the main reason is food'

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar says he is missing Goan food in Delhi and will do whatever the party asks him to.

“I have lost four kg in Delhi, the main reason is food."

When asked if he would be the next CM, if his party is voted to power, he said, “Iske bareme apko Aamitji ne kaha hai, jo kaha hai utna hi mai wapas repeat karoonga (I will repeat what Amitji has said on this issue). I am a partyman, let the party decide.”

Prashant Nakwe captures the Defence Minister at his favourite food joint after casting his vote.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is having breakfast with elder son Utpal and Panaji candidate Siddharth Kunkolienkar at Cafe Bhosale,in central Panaji.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is having breakfast with elder son Utpal and Panaji candidate Siddharth Kunkolienkar at Cafe Bhosale,in central Panaji.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe

7.46 a.m.


Here's some data on the assets owned by candidates in both the States.  In Goa, 97% per cent of the BJP candidates are crorepatis. The Congress comes second at 92%. The average worth of the candidates’ assets is Rs. 4.75 crore.

Read more

In Punjab, about 16% of the candidates, or 178 of them, have assets valued at Rs. 5 crore and above. There are 341 of them who have declared assets worth less than Rs. 10 lakh.  Over 90% of the SAD candidates are crorepatis. The Congress (88%), the BJP (87%), the AAP (63%) come at second, third and fourth, respectively.

Read more


Goa | 7.42 a.m.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar waiting in a queue at Masan Di Orem in Panaji.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar waiting in a queue at Masan Di Orem in Panaji.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe


As many as five former Chief Ministers, including four from the Congress and one from the NCP, are in the fray, apart from incumbent Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

Goa | 7 a.m.

Subhash Velingkar, rebel RSS leader and mentor of Goa Suraksha March who was in the queue to vote at his Masan di Orem election booth at 7 a.m. said he was confident that GSM-MGP-SS alliance will get a majority with 22 seats. Incidentally Mr. Velingkar and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar cast their vote at the same booth in Panaji.

As he entered the both and stood in the queue Mr. Parrikar told The Hindu, "We are confident of a comfortable majority. Everything is going fine."

Subhash Velingkar, rebel RSS leader, is first in queue at the polling booth.

Subhash Velingkar, rebel RSS leader, is first in queue at the polling booth.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe


Punjab | 6 a.m.

Punjab Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) V K  Bhawra said to PTI that "unprecedented" security arrangements have been made for the polls as compared to arrangements made in previous elections.

"Around one lakh security personnel including paramilitary forces have been deployed in these elections," said Bhawra who is also the nodal officer for state polls.

Unlike previous polls, police check posts continued to stay at several locations before the 48 hours of the polls on the directions of the Election Commission, he said.

4.50 a.m.

The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for conducting polls. In Goa, the EC is offering teddy bears and pens for first time voters.

The newly-introduced system of sending postal ballots to service voters, including armed 
forces personnel, by electronic means will face its first major test in Goa and Punjab where it will be put to use in a total of 45 seats.

4.30 a.m.

But Punjab shows a contrary picture. The BJP-SAD combine is seeking a third term projecting Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir. The Punjab Congress president Capt. Amarinder Singh is not just seeking a mandate, he contesting against Parkash Singh Badal in Lamba.

The AAP, which is also in the political fray here, is optimistic as Punjab has elected 4 of its candidates as MPs in the 2014 parliamentary polls.

4.00 a.m.

In the 40-seat Goa Assembly, both the BJP and the Congress are seeking a mandate with projecting the chief ministerial candidate. If Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is the star campaigner of the BJP, the Congress is banking on party vice president Rahul Gandhi and party's Goa in-charge Digvijaya Singh.

The new-comer AAP, however, has announced former bureaucrat Elvis Gomes as the CM candidate.

3.45 a.m.

Neelanjan Sircar, Bhanu Joshi and Ashish Ranjan write: "If there is indeed serious anti-incumbency in Punjab, the final results will rest on how previous and current supporters of the Akali-BJP alliance assess the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party." Read here.

3.30 a.m.

In Punjab, the electorate of over 1.98 crore, including more than 6 lakh first-time voters, will be deciding the fate of 1,145 candidates in the fray in 117 constituencies.

In Goa, 11.09 lakh voters will elect candidates to the 40-member Assembly. A total of 251 candidates are in the fray, and multi-cornered contests have sparked fears of a fractured mandate.

Read more

3.00 a.m.

The high-voltage campaign for the February 4 elections in Punjab and Goa came to an end on Thursday evening after hectic canvassing by various political parties.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 5:21:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/live-punjab-goa-election-updates/article17189500.ece1

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