People came out of their homes and a decent 70 per cent of Ludhiana cast their votes to elect the new MP, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Raminder Singh said, adding that the polling was by and large peaceful throughout the state.
The job was fairly done as in 2009 only 64% voters came out to vote in Ludhiana and it also earned tag of constituency with lowest voting percentage in Punjab.
As per figures from Election Commission on Wednesday, the voting percentages in Ludhiana’s constituencies have been recorded at —Dakha 76.40 %, Jagraon 71 %, east 79.72 %, central 69.90 %, west 69.50 %, north 67.78 %, south 65 %, Atam Nagar 68.71 %. Counting was still on in Gill constituency.A special voters’ awareness drive under SVEEP was initiated by Election Commission of India since announcement of polls.
Other than minor incidents of violence and bogus voting, the polling in Ludhiana constituency remained largely peaceful. However, a major clash happened between supporters of independent candidate Simarjit Singh Bains and Youth Akali Dal leader Gurdeep Gosha in Kot Mangal area of Atam Nagar.
In village Ayali Kalan, tension prevailed for some time but polling was not disrupted. Reportedly, a Congress supporter Kulwant Singh entered verbal clash with SAD supporter Avtar Singh. Talking to Newsline, Malkeet Singh, SHO Haibowal police station said, “Both were trying to create problems in polling process and have been booked under preventive measure sections 107, 151 of CrPC.”
In Industrial area-A, Vijay Nagar street number 2, presiding officer received the complaints that supporters of Bains were casting bogus votes without identity cards. The presiding officer did not find any bogus voter but security was beefed up.
In booth number 144, Electronic voting machines stopped working for two hours in Atam Nagar and similar problems in working of EVMs were reported from Dugri and Jassian road for few minutes. Some voters alleged that they were asked to come back after two hours in polling booth on Chandigarh road as EVMs were not working.
On late Tuesday night, high drama was witnessed as Bains alleged that Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria is distributing liquor at his residence in Kot Mangal area to influence voters. A team under ARO Davinder Singh was sent to raid but came back empty handed.
Additional deputy commissioner Isha Kalia said, “Other than minor complaints, polling was successful and peaceful in Ludhiana.”