Party clashes to EVM glitches: Highlights from the Punjab elections
The single-phase polling in Punjab took place on Sunday with a voter turnout of 70.2%. Here’s a look at the major highlights from the Punjab assembly elections
NEW DELHI: The single-phase polling in Punjab took place on Sunday and witnessed a voter turnout of 70.2%. However, not only did Punjab witness a 7% lower voter turnout as compared to the 2017 assembly elections, the state also witnessed clashes between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) glitches, and actor Sonu Sood’s car being confiscated by the police among other incidents.
Here’s a look at the major events of the Punjab elections:
- By the end of the polling weekend, 70.2% of voters sealed the fate of 1,304 candidates, including 93 women and two transgender persons. However, in the previous Assembly Elections in 2017, the polling percentage for Punjab was 77.4%. This year, the highest turnout was seen in Muktsar district with 78.47%. The Patiala Urban constituency, from where former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh is seeking re-election, registered a 63.3% poll percentage, the lowest amongst all high-profile seats in the state.
- In Ferozepur Urban assembly segment, a clash broke out between the BJP and AAP workers, leading to one AAP worker sustaining minor injuries. Due to the altercation, voting was suspended for 30 minutes. In Tarn Taran district, things took a violent turn when a Congress worker was injured after an Akali supporter allegedly opened fire at him outside a polling booth. In Ferozepur’s Guru Har Sahai segment, unidentified miscreants fired gunshots in the air, triggering panic.
- Bollywood actor Sonu Sood’s car was impounded by the police in Moga district after reports that “suspicious activity” was being carried out at Landheke village while polling was underway. Sood defied the police’s instruction of remaining indoors after the incident. So, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Satwant Singh directed video surveillance of his house. Later, on social media, Sood alleged that the opposition parties were buying votes.
- Polling in Moga district was delayed due to technical glitches in the EVMs. This was followed by AAP leader Raghav Chadha posting a series of tweets where he accused the rival parties of impairing EVMs. He asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) to take immediate action.
- Punjab’s chief electoral officer S Karuna Raju reported that 18 first information reports (FIRs) were registered across the state.