Barring a few minor incidents of violence, nearly 30% voters used their right of franchise till noon in Punjab, where 1.76 crores voters are voting to elect representatives for 117 assembly seats.
Patiala Royal family head and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Captain Amarinder Singh, who has been chosen nominee by Congress for chief ministerial post, along with his mother Mohinder Kaur and wife MOS for foreign affairs Preneet Kaur and other royal family members, cast their votes in booth no 123 at Government College for Girls.
He thanked the ECI for ensuring free and fair polls in Punjab. "Credit of free and fair elections goes to ECI, which effectively checked the use of durgs, money and muscle power in Punjab. And I am thankful to them," said Amarinder.
Dressed in white kurta payjama, black jacket, and sky blue turban, an upbeat Captain Amarinder after casting his vote told mediapersons that the high percentage of voting is an indicator of change. "Common man and Premis (Dera Sacha Sauda followers) are coming out in large number to punish the SAD-BJP corrupt and vindictive regime, thus voting is high."
"From day one I was telling you that there is strong wave against SAD-BJP in Punjab but media did not believe it. And with the support of Premis, we will wipe out the ruling alliance in Punjab," said Amarinder, who claimed that with a strong anti-incumbency wave in the state, Congress will win nearly 70 seats.
He thanked the Dera sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for extending support to the Congress. Dera has sizable presence and can tilt scales in favour of the Congress in Malwa belt, which has 68 seats, maximum in Punjab.
"I am thankful to Dera Sacha Sauda head and Premis who are voting for the Congress. And I promise that we will punish all guilty people who had committed atrocities on Dera followers in last five years," said Captain. He said that with the support of Dera, the Congress will wipe out Akalis in Malwa Region.
He refused to comment on statement of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who claimed that she is also in race for the post of CM. He also extended his thanks to Rahul Gandhi for nominating him as the CM candidate. He said that party would not take back the dissidents, who are contesting against the official party candidate.