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Punjab sees 59% voting amid skirmishes (Third Lead)

IANS  |  Chandigarh 

Amid reports of skirmishes and snags in machines (EVMs), nearly 59 per cent voting was recorded in Punjab's 13 seats in the final phase of the election on Sunday, officials said.

The constituencies that witnessed a higher voter turnout included Patiala (64.18 per cent), Ferozepur (63.11 per cent), Sangrur (62.67 per cent), Bathinda (62.24 per cent), while (52.47 per cent) and Hoshiapur (56.27 per cent) recorded a relatively low turnout.

In the state capital Chandigarh, 63.57 per cent voting was recorded for the lone seat.

Polling was halted for half an hour at Eelwal village in Punjab's Sangrur constituency when two factions of workers clashed with each other outside a polling station. Three persons were reportedly injured.

said by and large polling in the state was peaceful.

"One murder was reported from Tarn Taran. As per the initial police report, it was a case of personal enmity," he told reporters here.

Electoral Officer said an incident of firing was reported in Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda.

candidates Gurjit Aujla, and Kewal Dhillion, Union and Akali Dal candidate Badal, her estranged cousin and state Finance Manpreet Badal, Patiala sitting and were among the early voters in the state.

Minister and his wife cast their votes in their hometown Patiala, from where the latter is contesting as a candidate for the fifth time. She has won the seat thrice.

In the 2014 polls, saw 70.61 per cent polling while Chandigarh witnessed 73.71 per cent.

A straight contest between and the (BJP) combine has become three-cornered on some seats with the Democratic Alliance (PDA) fielding candidates on all seats.

However, all eyes are on and where there is a clash of personalities.

In Gurdaspur, is the BJP candidate against Congress who won the October, 2017 by-election by 1.92 lakh votes.

Donning a turban, Deol visited polling stations to observe the polling process. He was seen greeting voters with folded hands outside a booth in the Fatehgarh Churian area.

Jumping a barricade, the star obliged when a young voter who asked him for a photograph.

But political dynasties continue to dominate the state's As many as four Congress and three candidates belong to political families.

supremo Parkash Singh Badal's and is locked in a multi-cornered contest in the stronghold of Bathinda.

A two-term from the seat, she is taking on the PDA's Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Baljinder Kaur and Congress MLA Amrinder Singh

In 2014, scraped through by 19,500 votes against her estranged cousin

In Patiala, former was defeated by the AAP's by over 20,000 votes in 2014. This time Gandhi is in the fray as a nominee of the Nawan Party, a new outfit.

In Ludhiana, Ravneet Singh Bittu, grandson of late who was assassinated in 1995, is seeking re-election.

Former (Congress) is in the fray from Anandpur Sahib. He is pitted against sitting Akali Dal

The Fatehgarh Sahib (reserved) seat is seeing a battle of former bureaucrats (Congress) and Darbara Singh (Akali Dal).

The shadow of terrorism also hangs over the electoral battle in Khadoor Sahib constituency. candidate Paramjit Kaur Khalra's husband, Jaswant Singh Khalra, was allegedly abducted and killed by police for exposing fake encounters in 1995, while Congress candidate Jasbir Singh Dimpa's father, Sant Singh Lidher, was gunned down by terrorists in 1986.

They are pitted against former chief and Akali Dal candidate

Unlike 2014, the infighting-ridden is now struggling to save its sinking ship, with several leaders either having defected or facing suspension. Most Punjabi Non Resident Indians, who backed the even with cash, have given it a miss this time.

Countering defections within the party, actor-comedian Bhagwant Mann, the AAP's only hope to retain the Sangrur seat, accused party rebel leader Khaira of being an agent of both and the Akali Dal and of engineering defections of legislators to

As many as 278 candidates, including 24 women, are in the fray and the results will be declared on May 23.

Of the 13 seats in Punjab, the Akali Dal-BJP combine currently holds five (four Akali Dal, one BJP), while the Congress and the AAP have four each.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 19 2019. 22:04 IST