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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

68% turnout in Jalandhar Lok Sabha constituency

Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, April 30, 2014
First Published: 22:21 IST(30/4/2014) | Last Updated: 22:26 IST(30/4/2014)

About 68 per cent voter turnout was registered in the Jalandhar parliamentary constituency on Wednesday, despite few incidents of minor clashes between SAD-BJP and Congress workers and technical glitches in electronic voting machines at some polling booths. 

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In 2009, the voter turnout was 67.15 per cent in the constituency.

Even as the Lok Sabha segment witnessed a slight increase in voter turnout, the administration's efforts to increase polling in many assembly constituencies failed miserably, especially in rural areas.

The three urban assembly segments of Jalandhar North, Jalandhar West and Jalandhar Central witnessed an increase in polling as compared to 2009 while in rural areas of Phillaur and Shahkot there was a decrease in polling percentage.

In Adampur assembly segment, represented by SAD-BJP candidate Pawan Kumar Tinu, only 65.55 per cent polling was recorded as compared to 69.15 per cent during the previous Lok Sabha elections, which could be a cause of worry for him.  

On the other hand, the assembly segment of Phillaur, where Congress candidate Santokh Chaudhary has contested twice, witnessed 72 per cent polling, the highest in the Lok Sabha constituency.

In the first two hours, 6 per cent voting was recorded in the parliamentary segment. 

However, as the day progressed heavy turnout was witnessed at all polling booths. In city areas, voting machines were replaced after the developed snag at polling booth number-35 in the Jalandhar Central assembly segment.

Similar such incidents were witnessed in Adampur, Kartarpur and Shahkot areas as well.

Enthusiasm was witnessed among the young and first-time voters, especially in city areas, as they thronged polling stations in the morning.

Among all 24 candidates in the fray, AAP nominee Jyoti Mann was the first to cast her vote. Her party has received good response in city areas, especially from the first-time voters. On the other hand, response to the AAP was low in rural areas.

Even as many feel there is a direct contest between SAD's Tinu and Congress nominee Santokh Chaudhary, the AAP and BSP may get a significant vote share.

District election officer Varun Roojam said voting remained peaceful barring few freak incidents of violence.

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