In the five years of the SAD-BJP rule, some places in Punjab shot into media glare and held attention of the state and nation for days and weeks. Does a single incident or achievement of the government change how people of that area vote? HT tries to find out
PATHANKOT: TERROR ATTACK
Despite a major terror attack on country’s premier airbase on January 2, 2016, here, people voted in large numbers. The poll percentage in this border district jumped from 72% in 2012 assembly elections to nearly 77% this time. The border assembly segment Bhoa, which is believed to be on the route of terrorists who attacked the airbase and the Dinana- gar police station, also saw a big jump from 69% to 77% in 2012.
DINANAGAR: MILITANT STRIKE
The fear of March 27, 2015 terrorist attack on Dinanagar police station, in which four security personnel — one superintendent of police (SP) and three Home Guard Jawans — and three civilians were killed, was forgotten by the residents. Over 1.29 lakh voters cast their votes on Saturday against 1.24 lakh in 2012. The turnout, however, marginally decreased from 77.4% to 73.4%. The increase in the total votes polled this time may also be attributed to the over 11,000 new voters enlisted this time.
FARIDKOT: BEHBAL KALAN FIRING
This district was in news in October 2015 when a series of incidents of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib culminated in the death of two Sikh protesters in police firing at Behbal Kalan. The three assembly segments in the district witnessed less polling as compared to 2012. Jaitu, which recorded a turnout of 83.9% this time, had witnessed over 85% polling in 2012. Kotakpura saw 80.49% turnout as compared to 83% in 2012 and Faridkot saw 81.53% polling against 84% in 2012.
The Heritage Street built close to the Golden Temple was deputy CM Sukhbir Badal’s dream project and he tried his best to publicise it. But not much change in voting pattern was seen in the Amritsar (central) where the area falls. In 2012 assembly polls, it recorded 64.50% polling while this time it was 65% in the segment. If the SAD was expecting the voters to come out and vote in appreciation, it has clearly not happened.
MOGA: MOLESTATION, MURDER
Landeke, the village which remained in limelight for the Moga molestation incident in 2015 and badly hit the Akali Dal after an ‘Orbit’ bus, owned by the Badal family, mowed down a 13-year-old girl at Gill village, witnessed 72.6% polling. Of the 5,633 voters, only 4,090 people cast their votes. Not an encouraging response from the residents who were expected to vent their anger against the Badals.
(Compiled by Chitleen K Sethi with inputs from Prabhjit Singh, Aseem Bassi, Vinay Dhingra, Kamaljit Singh Kamal and Parampreet Singh Narula)