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77 pc turnout in Punjab polls; 1 dead amid stray violence

Last updated on: January 30, 2012 21:30 IST

77 pc turnout in Punjab polls; 1 dead amid stray violence

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Amid sporadic violence that left a 16-year-old boy dead and around 10 injured, nearly 77 per cent of 1.76 crore voters on Monday exercised their franchise under tight security to elect 117 members to the Punjab assembly.

The fate of 1,078 candidates, including two chief ministerial aspirants Parkash Singh Badal of the ruling Shiromoni Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party, and Punjab Congress chief  Amarinder Singh was sealed in Electronic Voting Machines in Monday's exercise.

DIG Arpit Shukla told mediapersons in Chandigarh that teenager Nishan Singh died of gunshot wounds receieved in a clash between activists of the ruling SAD and the opposition Congress in Piareana village in Ferozepur Rural assembly constituency.

Two other persons were injured in the incident, he said. The boy was said to be an Akali worker.

Reports of skirmishes between supporters of rival candidates were also received from Ludhiana, Bathinda, Amritsar Central, Abohar and some other districts.

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Image: Voters line up to cast their ballots outside a polling station at Banur in Punjab, on Monday
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters

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Other notable candidates whose fate was sealed in EVMs were Sukhbir Singh Badal (Jalalabad), Raninder Singh, son of Amardiner Singh, (Samana), former CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal (Lehra), ex-top cop P S Gill (Moga) and former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur (Bholath).

The state special chief electoral officer said there were no reports of violence from any part of the state.

However, reports of skirmishes between supporters of different candidates were received from Ludhiana, Bathinda, Amritsar Central and Abohar.

In Ludhiana, BJP's district Yuva Morcha general secretary Sanjay Kapoor was injured in a clash with Congress supporters.

At Bathinda, some miscreants pelted stones at the office of Dera Sacha Sauda sect on Amrik Singh road.

Police fired in air to disperse supporters of Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar and an Independent in Abohar.

BJP and Congress supporters also clashed at Amritsar Central.

The People's Party of Punjab, led by former minister Manpreet Singh Badal, alleged tampering of some EVMs at Buddhlada.

The state CEO denied this saying "some machines from the reserve stock were being adjusted and some PPP members thought that tampering was going on." "This was not the case," she said.

Some machines developed technical faults resulting in minor disruption of the polling process. These were replaced immediately.

Both the Congress and the SAD exhuded confidence of forming the government.


Image: BSF trooper stands guard as voters are reflected in window as they wait to cast their ballots at polling station at Banur, Punjab, on Monday
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters

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77 pc turnout in Punjab polls; 1 dead amid stray violence

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In Ludhiana, BJP's district Yuva Morcha general secretary Sanjay Kapoor was injured in a clash with Congress supporters.

 At Bathinda, some miscreants pelted stones at the office of Dera Sacha Sauda sect on Amrik Singh road.

 Police fired in air to disperse supporters of Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar and an Independent in Abohar.

 BJP and Congress supporters also clashed at Amritsar Central.

The People's Party of Punjab, led by former minister Manpreet Singh Badal, alleged tampering of some EVMs at Buddhlada.

The state CEO denied this saying "some machines from the reserve stock were being adjusted and some PPP members thought that tampering was going on." "This was not the case," she said.

Some machines developed technical faults resulting in minor disruption of the polling process. These were replaced immediately.

Both the Congress and the SAD exhuded confidence of forming the government.


Image: Voters wait in a queue to cast their ballots as a policeman walks past outside a polling station at Banur, on Monday
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters

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