Voting underway for 13 seats in Punjab

Vastavam web: Amid reports of EVM snags, polling was underway Sunday in all 13 Lok Sabha constituencies of Punjab and the lone Chandigarh constituency, with SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Puri among those in the fray.

Polling began at 7 am and is scheduled to go on till 6 pm, officials said. Among early voters were cricketer Harbhajan Singh, Congress candidate from Anandpur Sahib Manish Tewari, sitting MP from Patiala Dharamvira Gandhi, BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Congress candidate from Amritsar Gurjeet Singh Aujla.

Amid reports of EVM snags, polling was underway Sunday in all 13 Lok Sabha constituencies of Punjab and the lone Chandigarh constituency, with SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Puri among those in the fray. Polling began at 7 am and is scheduled to go on till 6 pm, officials said.

Among early voters were cricketer Harbhajan Singh, Congress candidate from Anandpur Sahib Manish Tewari, sitting MP from Patiala Dharamvira Gandhi, BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Congress candidate from Amritsar Gurjeet Singh Aujla.

On most of the 13 seats, the contest appears to be a direct fight between the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance. In 2014, the AAP and the SAD had won four seats each, the Congress three and the BJP two. Out of over 2.07 crore eligible voters in Punjab, 98,29,916 are female electors and 560 belong to the third gender.

More than one lakh security personnel including paramilitary force have been deployed in the state for holding free and fair polling, officials said. Over 3.94 lakh voters in the 18-19 age group would exercise their franchise for the first time in Punjab.

From the Chandigarh seat, BJP candidate Kirron Kher is locked in an electoral battle with former railway minister and Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal. More than 6.46 lakh voters in Chandigarh have the right to exercise their franchise in the election in which 36 candidates, nine of them women, are in the fray.