The state of Punjab went to polls on Saturday and as the voting came to an end, it seems that Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh was left in deep worry. Singh termed the Assembly polls as a ‘vote for stability versus communalism and radicalism’ and was confident the party would cross the 60 mark. However, he looks to have given up hope of a clean sweep that he was eyeing in the face of the AAP assault, especially in villages which are mostly siding with AAP. His worry was especially over the Malwa region where there was a heavy voter turnout – poll pundits have termed this as an AAP stronghold, which has 69 of the total 117 Assembly segments.
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The state is equally important for both – Congress and AAP – as it is the only state out of the five going to polls between January and March where both the parties have a real chance of winning. Also, the result will decide the whether Arvind Kejriwal is relevant outside Delhi and whether Rahul Gandhi is able to hold onto a vestige of acceptability as a political leader. Also both of them are eyeing an opportunity to rise up and challenge the BJP in the next general elections in 2019.
The final polling percentage in Punjab settled at 78.62 percent on Saturday, as said by EC. The highest polling was in Mansa (87.34 percent) and the lowest in SAS Nagar (71.9 per cent) was recorded. The total number of electors in the state was 1,98,79,069, including 93,75,546 females. There are 415 transgender voters as well. Punjab along with Goa were the two states who were the first of the five to go to polling ahead of Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Uttarakhand which are being held simultaneously in the months of February and March. The counting of votes for all five states will begin on March 11.