Amritsar South bypoll passes off peacefully

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Amritsar, May 22 (UNI) Barring a few skirmishes between supporters of rival political parties the polling in the Amritsar South assembly constituency today passed off peaceful as an estimated 52 to 55 per cent of the 1,32,172 electors exercised franchise.

Though official figures were not avaliable but rough estimates suggested that around 52 to 55 per cent of the electors in the constituency cast their votes as polling closed at 1700 hours.

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.

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 took place in 140 polling stations with the help of about 160 EVMs. An estimated 500 government employees took part in the polling process.

Around 2000 additional security force personnel including those belonging to the BSF had been deployed in the constituency for election duty. This deployment was in addition to the existing police force avaliable with the three police stations in the segment.

According to IGP (border range) R P Meena the polling was peaceful except for a few isolated incidents of protests and counter protests by supporters of rival political parties outside and inside polling booths over the authenticity of voters.

Three central observers had been deputed by the Election Commission for the bypoll. The Amritsar Municipal Corporation Assistan Commissioner is the Returning Officer for the byelection.

After polling closed, the EVMs were sealed and transported under a security cover to PBN High School, where the counting will take place on May 25. Two sections of the BSF have been deployed at the premises of the counting centre.

UNI XC HS BK1728

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