Polling in Panchkula district, which is divided into two Assembly segments, passed off peacefully on Sunday. Panchkula falls in Ambala constituency, which has nine Assembly segments. Seven other Assembly segments are in Ambala and Yamunanagar districts.
Around 69.3 per cent voting was reported in Panchkula till filing of this report. In Panchkula Assembly segment, around 65.5 per cent voting was recorded. In Kalka Assembly segment, around 72.8 turnout was recorded.
Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Balkar Singh, who is also the returning officer, said, “The exact figures of voting percentage will become clear tomorrow. We are in the process of collecting the record of all Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). The process will continue till late into the night. In 2014, the voting percentage in Panchkula Assembly segment was 67 per cent and in Kalka (AS) 71 per cent. During the entire election process, no untoward incident was reported. Indeed, technical glitches were reported in some EVMs at four booths in the morning, but they were rectified shortly.”
In Panchkula, the voting process started with some technical glitches in EVMs at four polling booths: booth number 73 at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8; booth number 23 in Sector 4 in Mansa Devi Complex (MDC); booth number 135 in Sector 12-A school; and at booth number 42 in Sector 7.
Heated arguments were exchanged between government officers and polling agents of political parties when officers removed the party flags from the stages of party agents at Bhavan Vidyalaya School, Sector 15.
A number of people complained about the absence of their names in the voting lists. In Sector 25, around 250 names were found missing from the voting list. Later, names of some of the voters were found in other lists. People also blamed the local election department officers for goofing up their names while shifting the names of some of their family members to different polling booths and theirs to another polling booths despite the fact that the residential addresses of all family members are the same.
First-time voters exercised their voting rights enthusiastically. Chetan, Paramjit Singh and Jatin Thakur of Pinjore cast their vote for the first time. Riya Kanwar of Sector 4 reached the polling booth along with her parents for casting her vote for the first time. She said, “It is a proud moment for me. It gives me a sense of responsibility towards the nation.”
Amar Singh, former sarpach of Barwala village, said, “The names of my wife and two sons came in different polling booths and my name along with that of my cousin was mentioned in a separate voting list of another polling booth at Barwala Senior Secondary School.”
In Ambala, seven Assembly segments are situated. Naraingarh recorded 66 per cent turnout, Ambala Cantt recorded around 56.20 per cent turnout, Ambala city recorded around 51.37 per cent turnout, Mulana recorded around 58.80 per cent turnout, Sadhaura recorded around 77.84 per cent turnout, Jagadhri recorded around 71.13 per cent turnout and Yamunangar recorded around 67.80 per cent turnout.