Amritsar, May 22: Barring a few heated exchanges between supporters of rival political parties the polling in the Amritsar South assembly constituency was peaceful as an estimated 40 per cent of the 1,32,172 electors had cast their votes till 1500 hours in the bypoll today.
Polling began at 0800 hours on a dull note as early morning showers kept the voters indoors. However as the day progressed and the weather showed signs of improvement, voters made a beeline to the polling booths.
The semi urban localities on the periphery of the segment including Sultanwind and Angarh villages reported heavy polling while it was moderate in the walled city. There are 62,417 female voters in this constituency.
The bypoll was necessitated here following the death of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP legislator Raminder Singh Bolaria.
Though there are four candidates in the fray but the main contest is between the SAD-BJP nominee, Inderbir Singh and Navdeep Goldie of the Congress. The other two candidates are Bhai Ram Singh of the SAD (Amritsar) of Simranjit Singh Mann and Sharanjit Singh, an independent.
The polling is taking place in 140 polling stations with the help of about 160 EVMs. An estimated 500 government employees have been put on poll duty while 2000 additional security force personnel including those belonging to the BSF have been deployed in the constituency for election duty. This deployment is in addition to the existing police force avaliable with the three police stations in the segment.
According to IGP (border range) R P Meena 8-10 policemen are deployed at each polling booth. He said that no one except voters are bing allowed to enter the constituency. The Election Commission of India (EC) had banned the entry of political leaders into the constituency after campaign came to a close on Tuesday. Three central observers are keeping close watch on the segement.
The polling will conclude at 1700 hours and thereafter the EVMs will be sealed and kept at PBN High School where the counting will take place on May 25.