10 percent votes cast in two hours in Punjab

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Amarinder Singh, a key contestant in Punjab assembly election address media outside a polling boot after casting his vote
Chandigarh, Jan 30: An estimated 10 percent of around 1.76 crore voters exercised their franchise till 10 am in the Punjab Assembly elections on Monday, Jan 30.

The polling remained peaceful in the initial two hours with no reports of violence received, special Chief electoral Officer Usha R Sharma said. She said the polling is likely to pick up as the day advances.

The fate of 1078 candidates, including two Chief Ministerial aspirants Parkash Singh Badal and Amarinder Singh in fray for 117 assembly seats, will be sealed today.

An estimated 10 percent of around 1.76 crore voters exercised their franchise till 10 am in the Punjab Assembly elections today. The polling is taking place at 19,841 polling stations across 22 districts of Punjab.

Prominent candidates whose fate would be sealed today include the chief minister from his traditional Lambi Assembly seat, his predecessor Amarinder Singh from Patiala city, their sons Sukhbir Singh Badal (Jalalabad) and Raninder Singh (Samana), former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal (Lehra), former Punjab top cop PS Gill (Moga), former Principal Secretary to the chief minister DS Guru (Bhadaur) and former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur (Bholath).

A total of 70972, including 225 paramilitary force personnel have been deployed to conduct the elections.

At least 2627 video cameras and 554 digital cameras have been installed at polling booths. Around 203 polling stations are using live web-casting.

Of the polling stations, 2718 have been identified hyper sensitive and 6379 as sensitive.

Ludhiana East (16), Patiala rural (13) and Jalalabad (14) are the assembly constituencies where maximum number of contestants are in the fray. The least number of contestants are in Attari (4).

Out of the 1,078 candidates in fray 417, including 45 women, are Independents. At the last hustings in 2007, after scrutiny and withdrawal there were a total of 1,055 candidates, including 56 women, in fray.

PTI

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