JUST ONE polling booth of ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in a park opposite to the Government High School could be seen in Satoj, the native village of CM Bhagwant Mann. No other political party had set up their polling booth and even no poster of any other candidate could be seen on the walls of this village.
This village has 2,648 voters and three polling booths — booth number 73, 74 and 75 — were set up inside the school and till 6pm, 1,412 voters exercised their franchise. Mann was the name which most voters remembered while polling rather than Gurmel Singh, the party’s candidate. “We know Mann saab and he has fielded the new candidate, so we will vote for Mann saab,” said Gagandeep Singh, a 32-year-old villager who was busy in poll duty at AAP’s booth.
Low voter turnout was again an issue in the village as well despite the fact that villagers were showing their loyalty to Mann to which Gurjit Singh, Nambardar of village said, “Villagers are busy in doing paddy transplantation. I hope they came in the last hour to vote.”
Major Singh, a villager in his 70s who was serving chhabeel to workers at booth said, “In 2022 polls, a total of 1,872 votes were polled to AAP and only 72 to Congress. Hence, looking at our support, no political party comes here to set up their polling booths. Mann saab came here 4-5 times after becoming CM. We trust him and we will give him time to clean Punjab.”