Punjab elections 2017: 71.8 % turnout in the district, SAS Nagar on bottom | assembly-elections$punjab-2017 | Hindustan Times
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Punjab elections 2017: 71.8 % turnout in the district, SAS Nagar on bottom

In spite of massive mobilisation efforts by political parties and officers, SAS Nagar district saw the lowest polling percentage in the state at 71.8%. This is also a fall over the 2012 assembly election polling percentage of 74.1%.

assembly elections Updated: Feb 06, 2017 10:11 IST
Shailee Dogra
Punjab polls

First­-time voters at Balongi in SAS Nagar on Saturday.(Keshav Singh/HT Photo)

In spite of massive mobilisation efforts by political parties and officers, SAS Nagar district saw the lowest polling percentage in the state at 71.8%. This is also a fall over the 2012 assembly election polling percentage of 74.1%.

With this unwanted record in the district’s pocket, 4.7 lakh voters, of 6.6 lakh in the district, did turnout and sealed the fates of 34 candidates in fray for the three assembly seats. Barring a few complaints of EVMs not working, polling remained peaceful.

In terms of constituencies, Dera Bassi recorded the maximum turnout at 76%, followed by Kharar at 72.9%; the SAS Nagar seat saw the lowest turnout at 66.4%.

Voting started at 8am and remained slow till late afternoon, when it started picking up. Villages and colonies in the three constituencies saw much greater participation in the voting process.

Three sitting MLAs — Congress candidate Jagmohan Singh Kang from Kharar, Congress candidate Balbir Singh Sidhu from SAS Nagar and SAD candidate NK Sharma from Dera Bassi — are in the fray.

“The election was peaceful and voters had started queuing since 8 am,” said DS Mangat, district electoral officer-cum-DC.

By 11am, SAS Nagar had recorded 20% voting, Kharar 18% and Dera Bassi 17%.

The voting picked up by lunch (1pm) as SAS Nagar recorded 36% voting, Kharar recorded 42% and Dera Bassi recorded 41%.

Post-lunch, SAS Nagar had recorded a turnout of 55% by 4 pm; Kharar had recorded 63% and Dera Bassi was at 69%.

SOCIAL MEDIA REMAINED ABUZZ

Since morning, Facebook, WhatsApp or Twitter were abuzz with appeals to residents to vote. Not just political parties but even the officials were making appeals to the residents to cast vote.

District administration officials claim that sustained Voter Jagrukta Abhiyan (awareness programme), an initiative of the EC, held for motivating residents in Dera Bassi constituency showed results.

Voters in rural areas were more enthusiastic, as evident from long queues in villages and they were also more vocal.