Brisk polling was today underway in Punjab where 29% voters exercised their franchise till 11 AM to seal the fate of 253 contestants in 13 Lok Sabha seats.
Despite scorching heat and wheat procurement process in the agrarian state of Punjab, voters were coming out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.
While Sangrur recorded 33 % polling, the poll percentage in Gurdaspur was 27.
Amritsar registered 23 % polling, Khadoor Sahib 24 %, Jalandhar 22%, Hoshiarpur 22%, Anandpur Sahib 23%, Ludhiana 28%, Fatehgarh Sahib 25%, Fardikot 24%, Ferozepur 28%, Bathinda 25% and Patiala 30%, the election office said.
Reports of skirmishes between Congress and Akali Dal workers were received from Salabatpura in Moga, Amritsar and Khadoor Sahib, officials said, adding, police intervened and defused the situation.
In Amritsar, BJP MLA Navjot Kaur, wife of cricketer- turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, a three-time MP from Amritsar, cast her vote.
About Sidhu's absence, she said, "He is very busy today otherwise he does not miss exercising his franchise." BJP had replaced Sidhu by leader of opposition Arun Jaitley from Amritsar. In the run up to the Lok Sabha polls, Sidhu did not even once visit Amritsar to canvass for Jaitley.
Prominent candidates among a total of 253, include Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and his Congress rival Amarinder Singh from Amritsar seat and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's daughter-in-law and SAD MP Harsimrat Kaur and nephew Manpreet Singh Badal of Congress from Bathinda.
Others key contestants are actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna (BJP) and his rival Punjab Congress Chief Partap Singh Bajwa from Gurdaspur, Leader of Opposition in Punjab assembly Sunil Kumar Jakhar (Cong) against SAD's sitting MP Sher Singh Ghubaya from Ferozepur, Congress veteran Ambika Soni against Akali stalwart Prem Singh Chandumajra.