The Congress has already won more than 60 seats in the 117-seat Punjab assembly by 3.20pm, thus getting a clear majority to form the government in Punjab. This brings good news for birthday boy Capt Amarinder Singh who is the party’s chief minister candidate. The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine, whose rout was predicted in exit polls, is third behind the Aam Aadmi Party. Though a majority of exit polls had pointed to a hung House, even the early hours of counting indicated that AAP had not performed as well as expected. Amarinder won Patiala but lost to outgoing chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in Lambi.
Punjab election 2017 final result: Congress win 77 seats, SAD-BJP bags 18, AAP win 20 and others (2)
5:00 pm: It’s Congress all the way with 73 seats in it’s kitty already
4:35 pm: SAD minister Surjit Singh Rakhra loses.
3:30 pm: Congress surges past the 59-mark with wins in 63 seats. Will form government in Punjab.
2.45 pm: No Congress candidate wins in Mansa district — AAP wins Mansa and Budhlada, SAD bags Sardulgarh
2:25 pm: In a first, an Olympian and a cricketer make it to Punjab assembly: Pargat Singh, Navjot Sidhu on Cong ticket. Read here
2:20 pm: PM Narendra Modi speaks to Congress leader Amarinder Singh to congratulate him on the electoral victory in Punjab.
2.14 pm: My win a tribute to my son Karan Sandhu, says Kanwar Sandhu after winning from Kharar by 42051 votes.
2:10 pm: “To all AAP volunteers and grassroots workers, you were one of the toughest competitors we faced! @ArvindKejriwal @AAPPunjab2017,” tweets I-PAC.
AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal says he respects the verdict of the people; thanks rank and file. State affairs in-charge Sanjay Singh also tweets on similar lines.
जनता का फ़ैसला सर माथे पे। सभी कार्यकर्ताओं ने बहुत मेहनत की। संघर्ष जारी रहेगा।— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 11, 2017
पंजाब की जनता का फ़ैसला स्वीकार है,हार की समीक्षा करेंगे,जनता और कार्यकर्ता के हक़ की लड़ाई जारी रहेगी,नई सरकार को शुभकामनाएँ।— Sanjay Singh AAP (@SanjayAzadSln) March 11, 2017
2:07 pm: Congress sweeps Fatehgarh Sahib district — Segment Fatehgarh Sahib won by Kuljit Singh Nagra against SAD’s Didar Singh Bhatti by 23,791 votes; Bassi Pathana won by Gurpreet Singh GP against AAP’s Santokh Singh Salana by 10,114 votes; and Amloh by Randeep Singh by a margin of 3,976 over SAD’s Gurpreet Singh.
1:45 pm: Capt Amarinder Singh’s friend and former Pakistani journalist Aroosa Alam at his residence in Chandigarh.
1:40 pm: SAD candidate Bikram Majithia wins from Majitha constituency with 22,882 votes.
1:30 pm: Big guns who lost -SAD ministers Adaish Partap Kairon (Patti), who is CM Badal’s son-in-law; and Sikander Singh Maluka (Rampura Phul) lose. BJP minister Surjit Kumar Jyani loses Fazilka, where rebel Akali MP Sher Singh Ghubaya’s son, Davinder Ghubaya, has won on a Congress ticket . Sunil Jakhar of Congress loses Abohar to BJP candidate.
1:10 pm: “I already conveyed to the media yesterday that we will win and that that is why party workers placed advance orders of ladoos, barfis, flower garlands and bouquets,” Bhupinder Sidhu, Congress leader from Ludhiana South, says.
1:00 pm: Punjab has seen more development than any other state in India; will discuss reasons (of SAD’s poor show) and will try to gain majority in the next elections, says Shiromani Akali Dal patron Parkash Singh Badal.
12:46 pm: Rajdeep Kaur now trailing. Congress’ Davinder Singh Ghubaya now leads with 33,000 votes.
12: 30 pm: “Let me take this opportunity to thank the Congress rank & file for their tremendous effort! (sic),’ tweets Capt Amarinder Singh
12:10 pm:Independent candidate Rajdeep Kaur, sister of slain gangster Jaswinder Singh Rocky, gets a lead of 712 votes after 10th round. Rocky, who had finished second last time against BJP’s Surjit Jyani, was gunned down by rival gangsters in early 2016.
Live: Hindustan Times senior resident editor Ramesh Vinayak, assistant editor Chitleen K Sethi and Punjab bureau chief Pawan Sharma discussing the Punjab election results.
11:55 am: AAP Punjab chief Gurpreet Ghuggi Waraich trailing in Batala
11:50 am: Congress surges ahead in 77 seats, might even beat its highest ever
10.50: Shiromani Akali Dal patron and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal leading in Lambi
10 am: Pic below: BJP candidate Praveen Bansal having breakfast outside a polling station at PAU in Ludhiana. Photo by Gurminder Singh.
9.56 am: Davinder Ghubaya of Congress — youngest candidate in fray — leading by 1,530 votes after first round from Fazilka segment.
9.55 am: In Lok Sabha bypoll for Amritsar, Congress’ Gurjit Singh Aujla leading
9.50 am: SAD candidate Gen JJ Singh (retd) leaves counting centre after trailing badly behind Cong’s Capt Amarinder Singh in Patiala.
9.45 am: Cong’s ex-CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal at third place in Lehra; SAD’s Parminder Dhindsa leading. AAP candidate is in second place.
9.23 am: SAD minister Bikram Singh Majithia leading in Majitha segment. He is facing Cong’s Lalli Majithia and AAP’s Himmat Singh Shergill.
9.20 am: SAD office in Chandigarh wears a deserted look; party has already served two consecutive terms, and is currently in third place.
9 am: Captain Amarinder Singh leading by 3,435 votes from Patiala (urban); trailing in Lambi
8.52 am: CM Badal leads from Lambi. He is being challenged by Congress’ Capt Amarinder Singh and AAP’s Jarnail Singh.
8.45 am: AAP leads in Mansa
8.45 am: Congress candidate from Jalandhar Cantonment — former hockey captain Pargat Singh — leading in counting of postal ballots.
8.30 am Leads: Congress on 6 seats; SAD-BJP on 2; AAP+ on 1
8 am Counting begins; first trends to be out soon, according to EC; postal ballots to be counted first. The fate of 1,145 candidates, including 81 women, will be known by afternoon. A total of 77.4% of the 1.98 crore electors in Punjab voted on February 4. “Over 14,000 officials will be involved in counting,” Punjab chief electoral officer VK Singh said. The counting started amid uncertainty and possibility of a hung house. The main contenders for powers are the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). A party needs 59 seats to gain a simple majority in the assembly. The by-election to the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, vacated by Congress leader Capt Amarinder Singh who is hoping to become CM now, was also held with the assembly polls.
7.45 am Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh turns 75 today. In the final hours before counting on Saturday, there was no talk of celebrations. Amarinder will be tracking the poll results from his private residence in Sector 10, Chandigarh, and address the media around noon. He would head home to Patiala only if he wins. What he said: Read here
March 11, Saturday, 7:21 am: Counting of votes for the three-way race to power in Punjab is set to begin at 8 am.
March 11, Saturday, 1:00 am: Punjabis overseas track poll results back home, book halls for public viewing. Read full story here.
March 11, Saturday, 12.15 am: ‘SAD America’ happy to bet $100,000 on win for Sukhbir from Jalalabad! Read full report here
March 10, Friday, 11.30pm The EC have made arrangements for public viewing of the poll results. On all important places in Jalandhar, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala, EC is putting up big screen for the general public to watch the results. “We want to involve people in final process of the polling also,” said CEO Punjab VK Singh.
11.00pm Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal says the politicians know how to manipulate the exit polls. “We cannot trust these exit polls. We are politicians; we know how these exit polls are manipulated. We cannot completely trust these polls. All these exit polls will prove to be false,” Harsimrat told ANI. She further said it was always best to talk less about the exit polls assuring that the SAD-BJP alliance will win the Punjab elections with majority of votes.
10.30pm Chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi says the counting process will be done according to the rules and will be free from any kind of malpractices, so, that the correct choice of voters is reflected. He says before the counting process starts, the counting supervisors will ask counting agents to be satisfied if the machine, which is being subjected to counting, is the same that was used at the polling stations. After the counting agent is satisfied that the EVM is preserved and has not been subjected to any malpractice, then the results come out.
10.00pm More than 800 officials and security personnel have been deployed at different locations that house electronic voting machines (EVMs) of all 8 assembly constituencies of the Patiala district. Deputy commissioner-cum-district election officer Ramvir Singh inspects all these locations to take stock of the last-minute arrangement before Saturday’s counting.
9.30pm Over 150 cops, led by an additional deputy commissioner of police, are set to man each centre in Ludhiana. A three-tier security arrangement will be in place at every counting centre, with paramilitary forces stationed at the outer circle, district police and force from Punjab armed police (PAP) at the two inner circles of security. Deputy commissioner of police Mandeep Singh Sidhu says cops have already been deputed at all the counting centres and police chief Jatinder Singh Aulakh reviewed all the security arrangements on Friday.
9.00pm Congress candidate from Amritsar East and party’s star campaigner Navjot Singh Sidhu says, “It’s time for the Badals to fade away as new sunrise awaits the state”. When questioned on exit polls, the cricketer-turned-politician said: “Janta ka faisla hai, aap jaan jaoge kal (you will know the people’s mandate tomorrow).” Read here
8.30pm Non-resident Punjab diaspora have taken offs from the duties and have made special arrangements in their respective cities to be part of the mega-event. The AAP supporters have booked a banquet hall and have invited people to join. In other Canadian city Toronta, local residents have booked a marriage hall in Brampton. Similar arrangements have been made in California, USA to track the poll results.
8.00pm Prominent politicians in the Malwa region say they will continue working in public life, irrespective of the assembly poll verdict. All are also hopeful of their respective parties at the helm of affairs for the next five years.
7.00pm The election commission (EC) announces complete prohibition on the sale and supply of liquor all over Punjab on Saturday. The Punjab chief electoral office has been directed to ensure absolute compliance with the directions. Read here
6.30pm In Jalandhar, more than 2,000 cops including a company of paramilitary force have been deployed around the centres. Entry of commuters will not be allowed near the Kapurthala road from Basti Bawa Khel Canal Bridge to Kapurthala Chowk in the city from Saturday from 5.30 am till the time counting ends. CCTV cameras have been installed outside the counting centres and regular police patrolling will also take place outside the venue. Read here
4.00pm Hoping to do well in the Punjab elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will be installing a giant screen at the office of its Lok Sabha candidate Upkaar Sandhu. In a message on social media, AAP has invited all its party volunteers there to catch the live updates of the results.