Weather might play spoil-sport in Punjab polls; voter turnout to be affected

Meteorological Department is predicting rains accompanied by hailstorm at few places over the next two days in the state.

Published: 03rd February 2017 08:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2017 08:35 PM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: As Punjab is gearing up to go to polls on Saturday, the weather may play spoilsport with the Meteorological Department predicting rains accompanied by hailstorm at few places over the next two days in the state.

“There is a possibility of rain on February 4 and 5 at some places in Punjab and Haryana because of western disturbances. In the morning, there will be overcast conditions in the entire Punjab and light rain may lash some places in the state,” said Chandigarh Meteorological Department director Surender Paul, on Friday.

The weather conditions could adversely affect the voter turnout in the triangular contest between Congress, SAD-BJP alliance and new entrant AAP, say experts. In the 2012 assembly elections, 79.20 percent polling was recorded and this time the Election Commission has set a target to achieve 85 per cent polling. In single phase, the state goes to polls on all the 117 seats in which a total of 1,145 candidates will contest.

The list prominent leaders contesting the elections include the five-time Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, SAD president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Punjab Congress president and chief ministerial candidate Capt Amarinder Singh,  AAP leader Bhagwant Mann and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Year

Polling Recoded

Government Formed

1977

65.37 per cent

SAD-BJP

1980

64.33 per cent

Congress

1985

67.53 per cent

SAD-BJP

1992

23.82 per cent

Congress*

1997

68.73 per cent

SAD-BJP

2002

65.14 per cent

Congress

2007

75.45 per cent

SAD-BJP

2012

78.20 per cent

SAD-BJP

 

*SAD did not participate in the 1992 elections.

Divided Votes

In Mandi Killianwali village in Lambi constituency, few voters cast their votes in Punjab while the rest have enlisted themselves in Haryana’s voter’s list. Half a dozen houses here have their one gate open in Punjab and the other in Haryana as a lane runs across the village that defines the border between both the states.

While Gagandeep Singh casts his vote in Punjab and his wife Jaswinder Kaur casts her vote in Haryana.  Meanwhile, their neighbour Om Parkash Garg and his wife Ritu Garg are enlisted in Haryana’s list of voters but Garg’s brothers --Suraj Kumar and Krishan Kumar will caste theirs in Punjab.

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