Punjab Lok Sabha elections phase 7 polling: Over to Chandigarh’s voters nowhttps://indianexpress.com/elections/punjab-lok-sabha-elections-phase-7-polling-over-to-chadnigarhs-voters-now-5735633/

Punjab Lok Sabha elections phase 7 polling: Over to Chandigarh’s voters now

There are 597 polling booths in Chandigarh of which 230 are sensitive booths. Of the total voters- there are 3, 41,640 male voters and 3, 04,423 female voters. 21 are transgenders.

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There are 597 polling booths in Chandigarh of which 230 are sensitive booths. (Express photo by Harmeet Sodhi)

The D-day is here and as many as 6,46,084 voters will be deciding the fate of 36 candidates contesting Lok Sabha polls from Chandigarh parliamentary constituency. Polling process will commence at 7 am and will be on till 6 pm Sunday. All shops and commercial establishments will remain closed, as per a notification by UT Administration.

While BJP has fielded its sitting MP Kirron Kher, Congress has fielded former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. Aam Aadmi Party has fielded former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan from here.

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Kher, an actor turned politician, will be contesting polls from Chandigarh for second time. In 2014 elections, she defeated Congress candidate Pawan Bansal by a margin of nearly 70,000 votes.

AAP’s Harmohan Dhawan will be contesting polls after a hiatus of ten years. He last contended polls in 2009. There are 9 women this time, who are contesting the elections. Of these, 13 are independent candidates.

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There are 597 polling booths in Chandigarh of which 230 are sensitive booths. Web casting at all booths would be done. Of the total voters- there are 3, 41,640 male voters and 3, 04,423 female voters. 21 are transgenders.

There are total 17,598 voters belonging to 18-19 years of age and 3,157 differently abled voters. The Election Department Chandigarh has appointed 12 ARO’s and 60 Sector Officers for a transparent election process in the city.

Incentives to voters

Under SVEEP activities, in order to encourage voting, different shops and commercial establishments are offering incentives to voters. Many restaurants in the city will be offering a discount ranging between 15-25 per cent to the voters.

Various laboratories are also offering discounts to voters. “ Get 50 per cent off on Thyroid testing on May 20 (Monday) only at Medicos Centre & its collection centres in Tricity,” was being circulated throughout the city.

At the same time, Decathlon Zirakpur circulated a message that it will operate from 6 pm to 9 pm on May 19 due to elections.

Differently abled friendly polling

There are 3157 differently abled voters in the city. Nodal Officer Sandeep (Phone Number: 8437870707), has been appointed to facilitate transportation facility for differently abled voters. Any PwD voter can call Sandeep or even whatsapp their details on the given number to avail transport facility to polling station and back. Apart from this, every booth will have ramps, wheelchairs, volunteers and EVMs with Braille, to facilitate these voters.

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Chandigarh turns into a fortress

Around 2,900 police personnel will be deployed in the city on the day of polling.Three tier security arrangements and security forces have been deployed for smooth conduct of elections. Special deployment of forces in colony areas and alert teams have been created to meet any emergency situation. Apart from this, a patrolling party will be made available near every police station.

No water, mobile phone allowed

No mobile phone will be allowed inside polling stations. No water in bottles, any type of liquid, sharp-edged weapon, match stick, knife and eatables, will be allowed in polling booths. The same directions will be displayed at a distance of 200 metres from every booth.