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Press Trust Of India
Chandigarh, May 19, 2013
Amid tight security, the polling for panchayat samitis and zila parishads in Punjab took place on Sunday.
The voting started at 8 am and ended at 4 pm. The electoral officials were still counting the number of voters who cast their votes at the time of filing the report.

"Till noon, 25 per cent of (the) 1.1 crore rural electorates have exercised their franchise with no reports of violence from any area," State Election Commissioner SS Brar said here.

The polling is being held to elect 331 members of 22 zila parishads and 2,902 members of 146 panchayat samitis across rural Punjab.

At least 38,000 police personnel have been deployed at 19,350 polling booths, of which 2,650 are sensitive.

The elections are being held in 12,000 villages spread across the state. The counting of votes would be taken up on May 21.

In the run up to the polls, two persons died in a clash between SAD and Congress activists at Lopoke in Amritsar, one Congressman died at Patti and another at Bathinda district.

Opposition Congress has in a bid to take on the ruling SAD-BJP combine tied up with the People's Party of Punjab and the Left parties in some areas this year.

Last time, these polls were swept by SAD-BJP, which was in power, and the Congress won in 2003, when it was ruling Punjab.