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Polling begins in Punjab amidst rain

Voting for 115 of the 117 assembly seats in Punjab begins even as it rained in several parts of the state.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2007 09:20 IST

Voting for 115 of the 117 assembly seats in Punjab began on Tuesday morning even as it rained in several parts of the state.

The voting process began at 8.00 am with voters remaining mostly indoors due to the cold weather conditions that have prevailed over most parts of north India over the last four days.

However, in some of the 16,751 polling stations, voters did turn up even before 8.00 am.

Rain and drizzle were reported from most parts of the state early on Tuesday and the sky was overcast.

Voting for the Amritsar Lok Sabha by-election also started simultaneously. The fate of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and Punjab Finance Minister Surinder Singla rests on this seat.

A fierce contest is expected between the ruling Congress led by Amarinder Singh and the main opposition Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance.

There are over 1,050 candidates in the fray and 64,000 security personnel have been put on election duty.

Voting for the Valtoha assembly seat will take place Feb 24 and Beas seat March 11.

The fate of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh (Patiala), Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal (Lehra), Akali Dal president Parkash Singh Badal (Lambi) and former Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) president Jagir Kaur (Bholath) will be decided on Tuesday by over 16.9 million voters.