Punjab, Uttarakhand go to polls today
Punjab and Uttarakhand will go to polls on Monday, Jan 30 amid tight security with Congress hoping to drum out Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and BJP eyeing on Uttarakhand.Reports reveal that at least 1.76 crore eligible voters will vote in the 117 constituencies of Punjab, while Uttarakhand, which has a 70 member house, has a voters population of around 6.3 million.
"All arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the election process. The polling teams have reached their destinations," said Punjab's Chief Electoral Officer Kusumjit Sidhu.
The voting is scheduled to start at around 8 am and continue till 5 pm. Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) will be used at all the 19,841 polling stations.
At least 200 paramilitary forces have been deployed at the ballot in Punjab by the Election Commission, while 71,000 security personnel will be on duty to ensure the smooth conduct of elections.
The main contestants of the Punjab polls include, Amarinder Singh (Patiala urban), Badal (Lambi), Manpreet Badal (Gidderbaha and Maur), Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal (Jalalabad) and Raninder Singh (Samana), son of Amarinder Singh.
While in Uttarakhand, the key candidates include BC Khanduri from BJP, who is contesting from Kodwara and Yashpal Arya, State Congress President, contesting from Bajpur. Apart from that, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, former BJP Chief Minister who was replaced by BC Khanduri after charges of corruption were levelled against him, will contest from Diowala.
Harak Singh Rawat, Leader of Opposition will also fight the elections, contesting from Rudra Prayag, while Bishan Singh Chuphal, BJP's state unit chief will contest from Didihaat.