All arrangements are complete for the conduct of the Punjab assembly polls on 117 seats on Saturday with “unprecedented” security arrangements being made for the smooth and peaceful elections.
Punjab additional director general of police (ADGP) VK Bhawra said around 1 lakh security personnel, including paramilitary forces, have been deployed. 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.
With Punjab set to witness a three-horse poll race, the Election Commission has set a target to achieve 85% polling. “The election machinery is ready for the February 4 polls,” Punjab chief electoral officer VK Singh said while addressing the media here on Friday evening.
He informed that voting would start at 8am and would go on till 5pm for the 117 assembly constituencies. As many as 22,614 polling stations including 14 auxiliary polling stations have been set up at 14,177 polling locations in the state, the CEO said.
Asked about the vulnerable polling stations, Singh said there are 5,500 vulnerable stations and around 800 are critical polling stations in the state.
A total of 1.98 crore voters are eligible for voting comprising 93.76 lakh women and 415 third gender. There are 4.05 lakh first time voters of 18-19 years of age, he said.
There are 364 NRI voters in the state. Besides, there are 1.05 lakh service voters in the state, he said, adding there are 65.36 lakh are urban voters while 1.33 crore are rural ones in the state. Singh said, “There are 1,145 candidates including 81 women in the fray for the elections.”
On Amritsar Lok Sabha bypoll seat, nine candidates are trying their luck. There are 13.8 lakh voters in the LS seat.