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Tight security in place as Punjab, Uttarakhand go to polls

Last updated on: January 30, 2012 08:10 IST

Tight security in place as Punjab, Uttarakhand go to polls

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Around 1.76 crore voters will seal the fate of 1,078 candidates, including the two chief ministerial aspirants Parkash Singh Badal of ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party and Amarinder Singh of opposition Congress, in fray for 117 assembly seats in Punjab where polling will take place on Monday amidst tight security.

About 200 companies of the central Para military forces, besides Punjab Police personnel, have been deployed to ensure free and peaceful polling at 19,841 polling stations, including five identified as "hyper-sensitive" and 32 as sensitive, an election office spokesman said.

Out of the 1,078 candidates in fray 417, including 45 women, are Independents. At the last hustings in 2007, after scrutiny and withdrawal there were a total of 1,055 candidates, including 56 women, in fray.

The ruling SAD-BJP alliance, the Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party are contesting all the 117 assembly seats. Newly formed Punjab People's Party is contesting 92 while SAD (Amritsar) headed by former IPS officer Simranjit Singh Mann is contesting 57 seats.

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Image: People attend an election campaign rally at Moga in Punjab
Photographs: Reuters

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Tight security in place as Punjab, Uttarakhand go to polls

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The SAD has put up candidates on 94 seats which include 10 women while the BJP is contesting the remaining 23 seats, which includes three women.

The Congress has fielded 11 women while the BSP has fielded six women.

Most of the 117 assembly seats will witness a triangular contest between the ruling SAD-BJP alliance, the main opposition Congress and the Sanjha Morcha which includes the Left and People's Party of Punjab led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's estranged nephew Manpreet.

Prominent among those in fray include Badal (Lambi) as also his predecessor Amarinder (Patiala City) whose sons Sukhbir, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister (Jalalabad) and Raninder (Samana) are also in the fray besides another former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal (Lehra).

Two civil servants D S Guru, Principal Secretary to the CM and P S Gill, DGP, who resigned and retired respectively shortly before the assembly polls have filed their nominations from Bhadaur and Moga.

The other contestants include Manpreet (Gidderbaha and Maur), his father and Badal senior's younger brother Gurdas Lambi, PPP), and his cousin Mahesh Inder (Lambi, Congress), former Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh (Mohali, PPP), turncoat Balwant Singh Ramuwalia (Mohali, SAD), former Industries Minister and senior BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia (Jalandhar) and former SGPC Chief Jagir Kaur (Bholath, SAD).

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Tags: SAD , BJP , Congress , SGPC , BSP

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Tight security in place as Punjab, Uttarakhand go to polls

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The maximum number of 16 candidates each is in three constituencies of Ludhiana East, Jalalabad, Patiala Rural while the lowest number of four candidates is in fray at Attari (SC).

In the 2007 General elections 76 per cent of the 1.67 crore voters had sealed the fate of 1,043 candidates against 65 per cent of the 1.58 Core voters sealing the fate of 923 candidates in the 2002 elections.

The security deposit of 798 candidates was forfeited in the 2007 polls which returned the SAD-BJP alliance to power with SAD winning 49, BJP 19, Congress 44 and remaining five seats going to the Independents.

Earlier, in the 2002 polls the Congress had returned to power winning 62 seats. SAD won 41 seats, its alliance partner BJP three, Communist Party of India two and Independents won nine seats. The security of 655 candidates was forfeited in these polls.

Of the major contestants the SAD had got a vote share of 37.09 per cent in 2007 as against 31.08 per cent in 2002. Its alliance partner BJP got a vote share of 8.28 per cent in 2007 against 5.67 per cent in 2002.

The Congress had got a vote share of 40.90 per cent in 2007 as compared with 35.81 per cent in 2002.

The vote share of 431 Independent candidates in the 2007 polls reduced to 6.82 per cent from 11.27 per cent secured by 274 candidates in the 2002 general assembly elections.

The counting of votes will take place on March 6.

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Image: Punjab Congress Chief Captain Amarinder Singh


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Meanwhile, Uttarakhand is all set for the assembly elections on Monday to elect 70 members to the Vidhan Sabha as tight security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polls.

More than 63 lakh electorates are expected to exercise their franchise in the elections in which the ruling BJP is locked in a close fight with the Congress.

Polling parties have reached their destinations in high-altitude and remote areas, state's Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi said.

With electioneering for the assembly elections coming to an end on Saturday evening, most of the candidates on Sunday remained busy in door-to-door campaigning.

A total of 788 candidates are trying their luck with BJP and Congress both contesting all the 70 seats.

The star campaigners from both the parties crisscrossed the hill state during the electioneering to boost fortunes of their candidates.

With the EC strongly enforcing the model code of conduct to check money power, the cacophony of the electioneering was missing this time.

Stating that elaborate arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of polling, Raturi said the poll personnel deployed in high-altitude areas have been provided with sleeping bags, snow-boot and jackets.

An Indian Air Force helicopter has also been stationed at Sarsawa for rescue purpose to meet any eventuality, she said.

The election campaign in the hill state reached its crescendo on Sunday with Congress hitting back at BJP by raking up issues like the Godhara carnage and other scandals that had plagued the ruling party during the past one decade.

Sharpening its attacks, Congress in its blitzkrieg against the BJP brought back scandals like Kargil coffins, Dilip Judeo, Shaila Masood murder case, Bangaru Laxman bribery and other such scams through local media in the hill state.




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