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Majha lags with 71% turnout

The Majha region witnessed peaceful polling, barring a few incidents of violence in the Amritsar (Central) and Tarn Taran constituencies.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2012 15:31 IST

The Majha region witnessed peaceful polling, barring a few incidents of violence in the Amritsar (Central) and Tarn Taran constituencies.

According to official reports, the average poll percentage for the 25 assembly constituencies of the region touched 71%, with Ajnala recording the highest turnout of 80%. The lowest was witnessed in Amritsar West (reserved), merely 56%. The latter was also the lowest poll percentage for any constituency across the state.

In Ajnala, sitting MLA and Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Amarpal Singh Bony was booked by the police for allegedly beating up a reporter of a vernacular daily.

The reporter, identified as Sukhdev Singh, was roughed up by the SAD MLA. When the matter reached the police, a case was registered.

Amritsar Central witnessed clashes between Congress and BJP supporters in Tunda Talab and Haripura areas.

Stone-pelting took place at Haripura, while bottles were thrown at each other by activists of both parties at Tunda Talab. A few cars were damaged. A couple of persons were injured in the Haripura incident.

Supporters of Congress candidate OP Soni and BJP nominee Tarun Chugh were controlled by a police team which reached the spot along with paramilitary personnel.

In Tarn Taran, supporters of Congress nominee Dharamvir Agnihotri and SAD nominee Harmeet Sandhu clashed.

Barring these stray incidents, voters came out in large numbers to cast their votes. Long queues were seen at various polling stations. The bright sunshine helped to bring people out of their houses in a big way.

About the fairly high poll percentage, Dr PS Judge, head, sociology department, Guru Nanak Dev University, said, "This indicates that a large number of youths came out to vote this time. There was also the Anna Hazare factor, which brought out potential reformers to polling stations."

Another factor was the third option for voters in the form of the Sanjha Morcha, he added. Dr Judge stated that a high turnout was normally associated with anti-incumbency. "But a notable feature this time was that the voter was not certain which party or alliance would come to power," he said.