Enthusiastic voters exercised their franchise peacefully at Kharar and Kurali Assembly constituencies on Saturday. Though several presiding officers and local administrative officials said they received telephonic complaints of liquor being served, they maintained that nothing was found when raids were conducted. Kharar constituency witnessed a tight contest among three candidates, including Congress’s Jagmohan Singh Kang, the sitting MLA, Kanwar Sandhu of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Ranjit Singh Gill of the SAD-BJP alliance. The pace of polling was mixed at different pooling booths while at several booths in Kharar, long queues were witnessed. A presiding officer at one of the booths said, “The performance of voters in rural areas was better than those in urban areas. In the morning, the presence of male voters was high while in the evening women were found lining up.”
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At some polling booths, due to weak telecommunication signal staff members of Election Commission were unable to make live telecast of the election process inside the polling booths to the EC office through a dedicated mobile application.
A staff member requesting anonymity at a polling booth in Kurali said, “The telecast has been disrupted several times. We are making the live telecast through different mobiles.”
The election office of AAP was full of activities as party workers received calls from voters enquiring about their booth numbers and other issues while the Congress office wore a deserted look by 12.30 pm.
Gagandeep Singh, one of the AAP supporters sitting in the office, said, “We also deputed our people in and around the polling booths. Here, our party supporters are receiving calls from confused voters, who are not sure about their polling booths. We are informing them after checking their voter IDs on the site of the Election Commission.”
Bhag Singh, a Congress supporter, when asked about the election office being closed, said, “Our candidate Jagmohan Singh Kang has specially instructed the party workers not to sit at the election office and instead go to field.”
Chander Parkash, the booth officer at Chakwal National Senior Secondary School, Kurali, said, “After 5pm, there were only a handful of voters inside the booth.”
At some booths in rural parts of Kharar, voters were seen waiting in the queue to cast their votes even after 5 pm.