Punjab elections: Polling peaceful in Majha, Amritsar witnesses lowest turnout
Polling for Punjab elections finished peacefully in the Majha region with no major incidents of violence being reported from anywhere. Amritsar district recorded the lowest turnout at 63.2 percent
The polling for the assembly elections finished peacefully in the Majha region with no major incidents of violence being reported from anywhere. However, voter turnout remained low in comparison to the previous general elections of 2012 and 2017 with the turnout being reported to be only 67.92 percent.
In the 2012 elections, when the Congress, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the BJP won nine, 13 and three seats, respectively, the polling percentage in this region remained 75 percent, while it was 73 percent in the 2017 elections when the Congress made a near clean sweep by securing 22 of the total 25 seats. The SAD secured two and the BJP one in the last elections.
In these elections, the polling percentage dipped by five percent in comparison to the 2017 elections. Amritsar district recorded the lowest turnout at 63.2 percent. Amritsar South seat of this district recorded the lowest turnout (50.2) in the Majha region despite there being a stiff triangular contest among Congress sitting MLA Inderbir Singh Bolaria, SAD’s Talbir Singh Gill and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Dr Inderbir Singh Nijjar. The seat (Ajnala) which saw highest polling percentage (76) is also from this district.
Pathankot outdid all other Majha districts in terms of turnout at 70.86, while Gurdaspur is on second place with a turnout of 70.62 percent. Tarn Taran secured third place with 66.83% percent. In Gurdaspur district, Batala witnessed a close fight in a four-cornered contest among SAD, Congress, AAP and the BJP, but recorded only 67 percent polling, the lowest in the district.
Amritsar East, which is witnessing a high-profile contest with state Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu and Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) big gun Bikram Singh Majithia being in competition, also could not see a high turnout. Its polling percentage remained only 63.3%.
The region witnessed a low turnout despite seeing stiff triangular contests on more than 50 percent seats and the new party was in a much better position here. “Majha voters on Sunday displayed a mood of disillusionment towards the Congress, dilemma towards SAD, and overall, a sense of confusion prevailed. Low voter turnout in Majha indicates that people are not happy with the conventional parties while new parties lacked the organisational structure to bring them to the polling booth,” said Prof Amanpreet Singh Gill, who belongs to Tarn Taran and teaches in SGTB College, Delhi University.
Minor incidents of scuffling, fighting and manhandling were recorded from Gurdaspur and Amritsar districts, but no major incidents were reported from anywhere, despite having many seats that were sensitive and hypersensitive.