Chandigarh: A voter turnout of 48.74 per cent was recorded till 4.00pm in the 13 Lok Sabha seats of Punjab, amid reports of EVM glitches and minor clashes between Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD)-BJP workers.
More than 50 per cent turnout was registered in the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat till 4.00pm, election officials said. Patiala witnessed the highest voting percentage of 53.88, while Amritsar recorded the lowest at 44.10 per cent.
In the morning, there were some reports of technical glitches in EVMs at several places, including Ludhiana, Samana and Moga. There were reports of clashes between the Congress and Akali-BJP workers in Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda and Gurdaspur.
“An incident of firing was reported in Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda constituency,” Punjab Chief Electoral Officer S Karuna Raju, told reporters. He also informed that a voter had been nabbed for clicking picture inside the polling booth in Ludhiana and a case had been registered against him under the Representation of the People Act.
Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, after casting her vote in Bathinda, accused the state government of misusing official machinery to intimidate Akali supporters.
Voters, including elders, women and the youth, queued up early morning at several polling stations to exercise their franchise. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, his wife, Preneet Kaur, along with his other family members also exercised their franchise at Patiala in the afternoon.
Among the early voters who cast their votes include cricketer Harbhajan Singh, Anandpur Sahib Congress candidate Manish Tewari, sitting Patiala MP Dharamvira Gandhi, BJP secretary Tarun Chugh, state Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Amritsar Congress candidate Gurjeet Singh Aujla.
On most of the 13 seats, the contest appears to be a direct fight between the Congress and the SAD-BJP alliance. In 2014, the AAP and the SAD had won four seats each, the Congress three and the BJP two.