Polling begins in Punjab, ChandigarhMay 13th, 2009 - 9:02 am ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, May 13 (IANS) Amidst hope of high voter turnout, polling in nine parliamentary constituencies of Punjab and the lone seat of the union territory of Chandigarh began Wednesday morning for the the fifth and final round of the general elections.
People in rural areas of Punjab could be seen queuing up to cast their vote even before pollign stations opened at 7 a.m. The enthusiasm was not as much in most urban polling centres across the state.
In Chandigarh, Union Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal was among the early ones to cast his vote. He is aiming for a hat-trick of victories from the seat.
There are 14 contestants in the fray from the Chandigarh seat though Bansal’s main contest is with Satya Pal Jain of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Chandigarh has a total electorate of 522,650. The voting percentage in the 2004 elections was just 52 percent.
The nine seats in Punjab that go to polls Wednesday include Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Khadoor Sahib, Jalandhar (reserved), Hoshiarpur (reserved), Faridkot (reserved), Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib (reserved) and Anandpur Sahib.
The fate of 139 candidates in these nine seats will be decided Wednesday. The highest number of candidates, 30, is in the Ludhiana parliamentary seat.
Important candidates in the fray are cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu (BJP-Amritsar), actor Vinod Khanna (BJP-Gurdaspur), Congress spokesman Manish Tewari (Congress-Ludhiana), singer Hans Raj Hans (Akali Dal-Jalandhar) and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal (Akali Dal-Fatehgarh Sahib).
Four seats in the state - Bathinda, Patiala, Sangrur and Ferozepur - had gone to polls May 7. Punjab has a total of 13 parliamentary seats.
Punjab had recorded a high polling percentage of 73.5 percent in the May 7 poll. The polling in the 2004 general elections was less than 62 percent.
The ruling Akali Dal-BJP combine had won 11 seats in the 2004 elections while the Congress got only two seats.
Punjab’s electorate of over 11.6 million will be able to vote in 13,152 polling centres. There are 14,480 electronic voting machines (EVMs) for this purpose, Punjab’s chief electoral officer Kusumjit Sidhu said here.
Over 52,000 civil employees will supervise polling.
Nearly 53,000 Punjab police personnel and 165 companies of para-military forces will provide security, said Director General of Police K.K. Attri.
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- Punjab, Chandigarh record 65 percent polling (Roundup) - May 13, 2009
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- Record voting in Punjab, nearly 77 cast franchise (Intro Roundup) - Jan 31, 2012
- Prominent candidates in Punjab assembly polls - Jan 28, 2012
- Akali-BJP alliance under pressure (Poll Curtainraiser - Punjab) - May 12, 2009
- Over 77 percent voting in Punjab, one killed in violence (Roundup) - Jan 30, 2012
- Amarinder's brother leads list of Punjab Congress rebels - Jan 07, 2012
- 65 per cent voting in Punjab (Evening Lead) - Jan 30, 2012
- 1,080 in fray for Punjab assembly polls - Jan 16, 2012
- Akalis, BJP build on new, secular identity (Punjab Newsletter) - Apr 14, 2012
- Akali Dal-BJP sweep Punjab civic polls (Lead) - Jun 10, 2012
- 1.76 crore Punjab residents to vote Monday - Jan 29, 2012
- Double prestige at stake for Sukhbir Badal - May 02, 2009
- Punjab: where politics and religion mix well (Punjab Newsletter) - Dec 31, 2011
Tags: akali dal, atwal, bansal, bharatiya janata party, congress spokesman, deputy speaker, ferozepur, general elections, Lok Sabha, parliamentary constituencies, parliamentary seat, parliamentary seats, patiala, pawan kumar, sahib, sangrur, sidhu, tewari, union territory, vinod khanna