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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

Turnout in Punjab assembly bypolls tanks in all 4 segments amid skirmishes

Polling for four assembly byelections in Punjab was slow in the morning, but as the day progressed it picked up pace. The results of the elections will be declared on October 24.

assembly-elections Updated: Oct 22, 2019 13:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Two voters after casting their votes during assembly bypoll in Phagwara, Punjab, on Monday, October 21, 2019.
Two voters after casting their votes during assembly bypoll in Phagwara, Punjab, on Monday, October 21, 2019. (Pardeep Pandit / HT Photo )
         

Over 60% turnout was witnessed in the byelections to four assembly seats -- Phagwara (reserve), Jalalabad, Dakha and Mukerian -- in Punjab on Monday, with sporadic skirmishes being reported between the ruling Congress and opposition workers.

Polling was slow in the morning, but as the day progressed it picked up pace. The results of the elections will be declared on October 24.

While Jalalabad recorded a polling of 78.6% (highest among four seats) Dakha saw a turnout of 71.6%. The polling percentage in Mukerian and Phagwara was 59% and 55.9%, respectively.

Officials said the polling percentage will change as the data was being tabulated. The opposition Shiromani Akali Dal said one of their workers was injured in a firing incident in Dakha.

The election commission issued notices to three Congress leaders, including Ludhiana MP Ravneet Bittu, Zira MLA Kulbir Singh and party’s Phagwara candidate Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal, for violating poll code. Dakha SAD candidate Manpreet Singh Ayali also got EC notice for taking to the social media platform to seek votes.

“The polling was peaceful,” Punjab chief electoral officer S Karuna Raju said. SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema claimed that a party activist was shot at when he tried to stop Congress workers from casting bogus votes”. The EC directed Ludhiana DIG to take over supervision of the model code of conduct and other security measures from the SSP (rural) in Dakha assembly constituency. The Akali Dal has lodged a complaint against the SSP (rural) and sought that he be replaced.