Dubbed as the most backward district with lowest literacy rate in the state, more than 90% voters exercised their franchise in Mansa district. The district had witnessed the highest polling percentage in Punjab panchayat elections.
In Sardulgarh block 89%, in Jhunir 91.5%, 90.82% in Mansa, in Bhikhi 90.75% and in Budhlada 92% turnout was recorded.
Out of 245 villages, the panchayats of 23 villages were already elected unopposed. About 3,110 employees were deployed in all 517 polling booths on Wednesday.
Mansa senior superintendent of police Narinder Bhargava said, "For many days we had tightened the noose around smugglers and a day before we sealed the state borders. A heavy police force was deployed around all the polling booths and the elections remained peaceful in the district."
Senior Congress leader Sukhjit Singh Neena Chahal thanked the police for making the elections a peaceful event and said, "The role of police needs to be applauded as in the district they kept round-the-clock vigil and avoided any clash."
Around 87% vote were polled in all the eight blocks of Bathinda district, including 89% in Bathinda and Nathana block, 85% in Bhagta Bhaika, while in Rampura, Talwandi Sabo, in Maur and Sangat blocks the polling remained 90% and in Phool block the polling was 80%.
Out of 297 panchayats, elections in 274 villages held while elections of three village panchayats have been postponed whereas 21 sarpanches were already elected unopposed in Bathinda district.
In Muktsar district, more than 80% polling was reported to elect sarpanches at 219 villages out of total 270 panchayats while 51 panchayats were already elected unanimously.
Secretary, Punjab elections, ML Sharma, said, "About 99.9% polling remained peaceful and an overall 85% polling was recorded in Punjab. Mansa topped the state with 91% turnout."