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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Live updates: Highest ever polling recorded in Chandigarh at 69%

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, April 10, 2014
First Published: 07:28 IST(10/4/2014) | Last Updated: 19:52 IST(10/4/2014)
Lights goes off at 84 no booth in Dhanas hampers voting, voters still lined up to cast votes

Highest ever polling recorded in Chandigarh at 69 percent. Previous record was of 68.1 percent in 1984 general elections. Final poll figures yet to come. Upto 300 lined up at certain booths in Dhanas and Dadu Majra. Officials said those who were in upto 6 pm will be allowed to vote.

67.77 percent recorded till 5 pm, says poll officials. Final figures to be released soon.

Even as last less than fifteen have left there are queues upto 400 voters a booth in Dhanas and Dadu Majra colony. In six booths of Dhanas, as per CEO office nearly 1500 voters were queued up to cast their votes. In Dadu Majra also nearly 200 people were queued up at one polling station.


Chandigarh headed for record polling in the electoral history of city. 63 per cent polling recorded till 5 pm. Previous highest record of polling is 68 per cent in 1984 general elections. The officials said, they were waiting for polling details of certain areas.

At three Dhanas polling stations nearly thousand voters waiting to cast votes. Since morning serpentine queues were witnessed at the polling stations. Menwhile, the voters alleged mismanagement by the authorities.

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After witnessing average voter turnout during the early hours, the voting queues started receding after noon. Most polling booths had only 50-60 people standing in a queue to vote. Around 20 polling booths in the sectors had no queue at all.

Meanwhile, 40 per cent of voting was recorded in the city till 1pm.

Kher's father retired colonel, 101-year-old Thakar Singh also exercised his franchise at Sector 8. He was accompanied by Kirron Kher. Meanwhile, Four-time Congress MP from Chandigarh, Pawan Kumar Bansal and BJP  president Sanjay tandon also exercised their franchise.

Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Gul Panag lef her Panchkula home in the morning to visit polling booths across the city.

In Chandigarh, over six lakh voters will decide the fate of 17 candidates.

Polling begins in Chandigarh

Bansal pitted against a starry challenge

Former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal was sailing through quite nicely till recently, but the Railgate scandal, in which his nephew was caught taking a bribe from a senior railway official, coupled with anti-incumbency has made the battle harder for him.

Pitted against him is actorcum-politician Kirron Kher of the Bharatiya Janata Party, a late choice aimed at dousing flames of infighting among local leaders of the BJP here. The three in fray for the ticket were the BJP’s city unit chief Sanjay Tandon, former union minister Harmohan Dhawan and former MP Satya Pal Jain, who lost the last three consecutive elections to Bansal.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also has an actor, Gul Panag, as its candidate, while the BSP has Jannat Jahan. Both are trying to make the fight multi-cornered.

Bansal had won the seat by a record 58,000 votes last time. A lot has changed. Bansal is facing the taint of Railgate, besides lack of development in colonies and villages.

The seat is divided into sectors, colonies (slums) and villages. Nearly half the voters are from colonies and villages, and have an even bigger say as traditionally the turnout is higher here than in the sectors. Bansal has been strong here, and also belongs to the trader community that has nearly 20% voters.

In 2009, observers say, the Sikh community, which constitutes around 16% of voters, also picked Bansal because of PM Manmohan Singh being a Sikh. Now, both Kirron and Gul are Sikh. Plus, there are around 25,000 votes of ex-servicemen, and both Kirron and Gul come from army families.

In colonies, BJP’s Dhawan has a hold. After several switches of loyalty and contesting the last election on the BSP ticket, he is now in the saffron fold. The BJP is also in alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which has two councillors.

Kirron has been able to get Tandon and Jain by her side, while Dhawan has pledged support after initial heartburn. She is banking on the ‘Modi wave’.

The AAP, after the initial hiccup including Savita Bhatti returning the ticket, has hit the campaign trail focusing equally on the colonies and sectors. A sporty Gul had been active in door-to-door campaign.

The BSP had got over 61,000 votes last time, but that was when Dhawan was the candidate.

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