Patiala, Anandpur Sahib seats see nearly 6% dip in voter turnout - Hindustan Times
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Patiala, Anandpur Sahib seats see nearly 6% dip in voter turnout

Jun 02, 2024 05:45 AM IST

While Dera Bassi and Zirakpur towns of Mohali district fall under the Patiala parliamentary constituency, Mohali town and Kharar are under the Anandpur Sahib Lok Sabha seat

Both Patiala and Anandpur Sahib parliamentary constituencies, that have voters in Mohali district, saw a dip in the number of people coming out to exercise their right to franchise.

Voters wait in a queue at a polling booth in Mohali on Saturday. (Sanjeev Sharma/HT)
Voters wait in a queue at a polling booth in Mohali on Saturday. (Sanjeev Sharma/HT)

While Dera Bassi and Zirakpur towns of Mohali district fall under the Patiala parliamentary constituency, Mohali town and Kharar are under the Anandpur Sahib Lok Sabha seat.

Patiala recorded a turnout of 62.41%, compared to 67.62% in 2019, while Anandpur Sahib saw 60.02% turnout, compared to 65% last time. The Election Commission of India (ECI) may update the figures further on Sunday.

The district has a total of 8,12,593 electors. While a total of 5,14,798 voters, including 2,81,225 in Kharar and 2,33,573 electors in Mohali, had to choose MP for Anandpur Sahib; a total of 2,97,795 Dera Bassi voters had to vote for Patiala MP.

As per the data released by ECI on Saturday, a dip of around 4% was witnessed in the turnout of Dera Bassi as compared to the 2019 elections. In Dera Bassi, 64.20% voters exercised their franchise while in 2019, it was 68.81%.

In Mohali, 55.60% voters polled their votes as compared to 67.1% turnout in 2019. In Kharar, 55.80% votes were polled this time as compared to the turnout of 61% in previous MP elections.

Mohali town had the lowest voter turnout of 16% till 11 am after the polls commenced at 7 am on Saturday for 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state. 21% of voters polled in Kharar till 11 am and 18.10% of voters polled their votes in the first four hours. While no long queues were seen in Mohali city except a few polling stations till 2 pm amid scorching heat, long queues were witnessed in Kharar or at the periphery of Mohali, including at the Government Primary School in Badmajra and Government Senior Secondary Smart School, Behlolpur till afternoon.

Mohali deputy commissioner Aashika Jain said around 5,000 personnel from civil administration worked for successful elections. “Besides, 825 polling parties having four members each, deputation of BLOs, ASHA and Anganwadi Workers and supporting staff from other departments were put on election duty,” said DC.

Mohali SSP Sandeep Garg stated that 4,000 police personnel, including 600 from state police and nine companies of paramilitary, kept a watch during the last 72 hours to ensure law and order. About 60 nakas on the inter-state and inter-district were installed besides regular patrolling by 150 police parties that contributed to the free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections, he said.

While a total of 28 candidates are in fray in Anandpur Sahib, 26 candidates are vying for the Patiala seat for which the results will be announced on June 4. Both seats are mainly witnessing four-cornered contests between AAP, Congress, BJP and SAD.

The Congress relied upon former Sangrur MP and state cabinet minister Vijay Inder Singla for the Anandpur Sahib seat and fielded former AAP MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi from Patiala.

The SAD had fielded Prem Singh Chandumajra from Anandpur Sahib and former Dera Bassi MLA NK Sharma from Patiala. The AAP relied on its state chief spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang for Anandpur Sahib and banked on state health minister Balbir Singh in Patiala. The BJP put faith in four-time Patiala Congress MP and former Union minister Preneet Kaur for Patiala contest after she switched sides in March.

The saffron party was the last to announce a ticket to Subhash Sharma for Anandpur Sahib seat. Overall voting went peacefully in the entire Mohali district barring a few protest incidents reported by the villagers who had boycotted the polls in Kasauli village in Majri.

Lowest voting at Kasauli booth after election boycott

Only eight voters showed up to cast their vote at the Kasauli polling booth amid a call for boycott by the villagers. Till 5 pm, the vote count remained in single digit.

Residents of villages Tanda, Kasauli, Bharunda, Patti Piplanwali, Parhi Gurha, Bagindi, Karon Dayala and Jayanti Majri also boycotted the elections. However, after the villagers withdrew the call, around 250 votes were cast at Jayanti Majri polling station till 5 pm.

According to police, a few villagers who did not wish to vote had gathered outside the polling stations and were influencing others not to vote, following which senior police officers intervened. The police resolved the issue and controlled the situation, but only a few reached polling booths to cast their votes.

SSP Sandeep Garg said, “The villagers were clearly informed that if anyone tried to obstruct the elections, strict action will be taken against them.”

The boycott call was given by the villagers, alleging no development in the region. The villagers also highlighted the lack of basic civic amenities, adding that they lacked proper roads, dispensaries or hospitals and mobile network coverage.

The issue started when the villagers were not allowed to use the ‘shamlat’ land, the officer disclosed.

According to Supreme Court directives, villagers are not permitted to keep the ‘shamlat’ land. Despite this, the villagers wish to retain the land, he added.

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