Election process for 117 seats in Punjab commences

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Shivraj Patil
Chandigarh, Jan 5: The process for elections to the 117-member Punjab Assembly commenced today with Governor Shivraj Patil formally issuing notification for the polling to take place on January 30.

The nominations will close on January 12, scrutiny will take place on January 13 and the withdrawals would end on January 16, an official spokesman said here today.

As per the draft electoral rolls, the total number of voters is around 1.74 crore for whom 19,724 polling stations would be set up. The polling would take place from 8 AM to 5 PM.

The counting of votes would take place on March 4 after the completion of the election process in remaining four states - Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa.

The term of the present House ends on March 14, 2012.

In the 2007, general elections 76 per cent of the 1.67 crore voters had sealed the fate of 1,043 candidates against 65 per cent of the 1.58 core voters sealing the fate of 923 candidates in the 2002 elections.

The security deposit of 798 candidates was forfeited in the 2007 polls which returned the SAD-BJP alliance to power with SAD winning 49, BJP 19, Congress 44 and remaining five seats going to the Independents.

Earlier in the 2002 polls, the Congress had returned to power winning 62 seats. SAD won 41 seats, its alliance partner BJP three, CPI two and Independents won nine seats. The security of 655 candidates was forfeited in these polls.

Of the major contestants, the SAD had got a vote share of 37.09 per cent in 2007 as against 31.08 per cent in 2002. Its alliance partner BJP got a vote share of 8.28 per cent in 2007 against 5.67 per cent in 2002.

The Congress had got a vote share of 40.90 per cent in 2007 as compared with 35.81 per cent in 2002.

The vote share of 431 Independent candidates in the 2007 polls reduced to 6.82 per cent from 11.27 per cent secured by 274 candidates in the 2002 general Assembly polls.

PTI

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