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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Polling goes off peacefully in Hoshiarpur

Harpreet Kaur, Hindustan Times  Hoshiarpur, April 30, 2014
First Published: 18:20 IST(30/4/2014) | Last Updated: 18:22 IST(30/4/2014)

Barring an incident of boycott by voters in a village and a few technical glitches, polling went off peacefully at 1,860 polling booths in the district.

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People turned out in sizeable number to cast their votes.

Excitement was palpable among the first-time voters who flaunted their voter cards and inked fingers after casting their votes. Deputy commissioner-cum-returning officer Tanu Kashyap presented appreciation certificates to many first-time voters.

Senior citizens and women also participated enthusiastically in the poll process. Union minister of state for health and family welfare Santosh Chowdhary, Rajya Sabha member Avinash Rai Khanna, CM's political advisor Tikshan Sud, BSP candidate Bhagwan Singh Chohan, AAP nominee Yamini Gomar were among those who exercised their franchise. 

Congress candidate Mohinder Singh Kaypee and BJP candidate Vijay Sampla could not vote for themselves as they are registered as voters in Jalandhar. Former union minister Ambika Soni remained occupied in Anandpur Sahib and did not come to cast vote at Bajwara village.

Voters had queued up even before 7 am at many polling stations. Around noon, the polling rate dropped due to hot weather but gained momentum in the afternoon. At Kotla Gonspur, polling was disrupted for more than an hour due to a fault in the electronic voting machine (EVM). Voting machines developed glitches at several other places too.

Residents at Dhadiala village in Urmur segment boycotted the election in protest against the police's inability to nab the accused who had hanged a village youth Arvinder Singh about two months ago. Only six of the 816 votes were polled in the village.

Jalandhar range deputy inspector general of police GS Dhillon, SSP Sushil Kumar, civil officials and leaders of political parties tried to mollify the villagers but they did not budge. A polling official was shifted in Adamwal on the complaint of BJP volunteers who alleged that he was insisting on voter identity cards.

At Gogo village in Garshankar, Gurmukh Singh, a proclaimed offender wanted in a fraud case, was caught while casting vote. He had been eluding the police since July 2012. The police had alerted the polling staff about the proclaimed offenders.

When Gurmukh came to poll his vote, he was arrested and taken to the police station. 

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