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Over 71% turnout in Moga by-poll

Saturday, 23 February 2013 - 8:57pm IST | Place: Moga | Agency: PTI
Over 71% of the eligible voters cast their ballots today in the by-election to Moga Assembly constituency in Punjab, where the main fight is between the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and main opposition Congress.

Over 71% of the eligible voters cast their ballots on Saturday in the by-election to Moga Assembly constituency in Punjab, where the main fight is between the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and main opposition Congress.

The polling, which was held amid tight security, was dull in the morning due to rainy weather but picked up as the day progressed and people flocked the booths to cast their votes, Election Commission officials said.

The polling was peaceful, and there was no report of any untoward incident from the constituency, a senior official said.

"As many as 71.18% of the voters exercised their franchise. The percentage can go up slightly. The polling remained peaceful and no untoward incident was reported," Punjab's Chief Electoral Officer, Kusumjit Sidhu told PTI in Chandigarh.

At Moga grain market polling booth, 96-year-old Gyanwati was also among those who cast their vote.

In 2012 assembly polls, Moga, which is also birthplace of Lala Lajpat Rai, had registered a poll percentage of 78%.

Polling, which started at 8am and ended nine hours later, had to be stopped for about 40 minutes at booth number 171 in the morning following some defect in a EVM, which was changed and the voting later resumed.

A total of 1,79,338 voters were eligible to exercise their franchise. While 69 booths were hypersensitive, 90 had been declared as sensitive out of the total 188.

While a total of 10 candidates were in the fray, the main contest was between the ruling SAD-BJP's Joginder Pal Jain and main opposition Congress' Vijay Kumar Sathi.

In their poll campaign, the Congress had urged the voters to reject turncoat Jain while SAD had asked the people to vote for development.

Ravinder Singh Dhaliwal of People's Party of Punjab, a candidate enjoying support of the Sanjha Morcha, a group of various political outfits, was also in the fray.

The by-poll was necessitated due to Jain resigning from the Congress and joining the ruling SAD-BJP alliance.


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