At 78.62 per cent, Punjab’s voter turnout is almost identical to the state average as recorded in 2012 at 78.57 per cent. Malwa which has 69 of the 117 assembly seats, saw the highest voter turnout this year, 80% in two-thirds of the seats. The rural voter turnout was the highest in Malwa, hence, Aam Aadmi Party is hoping for good news from the region on counting day. Of the seven urban seats like Patiala, the voting was between 60 to 70 per cent, reported Indian Express.
Doaba voting made a peculiar graph, as seats with a Bharatiya Janata Party candidate had a consistently lower turnout than those with a Shiromani Akali Dal candidate.
The Election Commission data shows the state has 10,563,108 male voters in comparison to 9,375,546 female voters. In Majha region, 20 of the 25 seats finished below the state average but most still had a turnout higher than 70s, but Amritsar city’s seats stayed in the 60s. In Majitha, seat of the biggest fight of the region with Bikram Singh Majithia (SAD) facing Lalli Majithia (Congress) and Himmat Singh Shergill (AAP), the turnout was nearly 79 per cent.
Even after the SAD-BJP government highlighted its beautification drive around the Golden Temple coupled with a bus rapid transit corridor and flyovers, Amritsar saw a poor turnout. The highest women’s turnout was under 67 per cent in North Amritsar. The highest turnout of men was 78 per cent in Central Amritsar where BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh is contesting. The state saw a higher women votership. Navjot Singh Sidhu’s constituency, Amrtisar (east) saw 66 per cent among men and 63 per cent among women, bringing the overall avaerage of Amritsar to 71 per cent. Pathakot had 77 per cent, Gurdaspur 75 and Tarn Taran 72.
In Lambi constituency, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Congress Capt Amarinder Singh and AAP’s Jarnail Singh, are fighting a battle for votes and the turnout was just under 86 per cent, down by one percent from last time’s 87.
Out of the eight reserved constituencies, Banga saw the highest voter turnout at 76.8 per cent. The region had a turnout in the 70s yet short of the average 78.6. Banga is five-cornered including a BSP candidate and Congress’ Tarlochan Soondh. The remaining seven constituencies saw turnouts between 72 and 75 per cent.
Where there was no SAD candidate and only BJP was contesting, voter turnout was much lesser. Like in Jalandhar Central, BJP’s Manoranjan Kalia against Congress’s Rajinder Beri and AAP’s Dr Sanjiv Sharma, recorded only 68 per cent.
Hoshiarpur, with BJP’s Tikshan Sud, against AAP’s Paramjit Singh Sachdeva and Congress candidate Sunder Sham Arora, had just under 70 per cent.
Whereas, Balachaur in Nawanshahr, Nand Lal from SAD is contesting against three Gujjar leaders, the turnout was over 79 per cent.
“The more the players, the more the interest of the voters, hence a higher voter percentage,” said Prof Jagrup Singh Sekhon, who teaches political science in Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. “Anything more than 75 per cent is a reasonably good turnout,” Prof Sekhon said.
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In Jalalabad, where Sukhbir Singh Badal, Bhagwant Mann (AAP) and Ravneet Bittu (Congress) are contesting against each other, saw voting just under 87 per cent, nearly the same as in 2012.
Patiala urban, which is Amarinder’s bastion, recorded 66.56 per cent, down from 68. Maur, saw a very high voter turnout at 85 per cent. A blast claimed six lives few days before the election in the region.
The turnout was 79 per cent In Majitha, Bikram Singh Majithia (SAD) is facing a tough competition with Lalli Majithia (Congress) and Himmat Singh Shergill (AAP) here.