Amid peaceful polling, SAS Nagar recorded a voters’ turnout of 63%, down by around 8.8 percent from the previous assembly elections when the district saw 71.8% turnout. With 63.7% voting, Kharar recorded the highest turnout in the district followed by 63.6% in Mohali and 61.7% in Dera Bassi. All the assembly constituencies in the district are witnessing a high pitched multi-corner contest this time.
The district recorded the lowest voting percentage compared to the last two assembly elections. This time, the district saw 63% turnout while in 2017 the voting percentage was 71.8% and in 2012, it was 75.54%. Of the total 7,93,134 votes in the district, 4,99, 308 votes were polled.
Election experts said that the two turnout could be attributed to the threat perception around the pandemic. The district administration had tried its best to make the people aware of the voting process, specially the new voters, officials said.
The results will be declared on March 10 and the EVM machines were kept under tight security at Sports Complex in Sector 78 and in Rattan Professional College. Apart from some minor incidents, the election process went peacefully. No untoward incident was reported in any of the constituencies.
The voting percentage remained low in the initial hours with Kharar reporting just 0.8% voting, followed by 3.2% and 2.5% voting in Derabassi and Mohali, respectively. The voting pace picked up after 3 pm when around 40% turnout was reported from each constituency.
In some areas, the voting process started late due to a technical snag in the EVMs. In Daun village the EVM developed a technical snag and the voting process was to be stopped. The election process was started after the EVM was replaced.
Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) CM candidate Bhagwant Mann cast his vote at a polling booth in Phase 3A while Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi exercised his franchise in Khalsa School in Kharar. Apart from these two leaders, former Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, SAD candidate from Dera Bassi N K Sharma, BJP candidate from Mohali Sanjeev Vashisht also cast their votes.
Earlier in the day, district Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Isha Kalia along with election observers reviewed the arrangements at various polling booths. She also thanked the people for peaceful conduct of the elections.
“The credit goes to the officials who are on election duty. I also thank the people of all the three constituencies for maintaining peace,” she said.
Voting held at 907 polling booths
A total of 907 polling booths were set up in the district. As many as 8,559 officials were deputed on duty. Around 1,814 polling officers, 907 presiding officers, 83 sector observers and 491 micro-observers were present.
Covid arrangements at polling booths
Special Covid-19 arrangements were made at all the polling booths in the district. Some people were also administered vaccine doses at the polling stations while at some booths, masks were also distributed. Waiting areas were also set up for patients at some polling stations.
NSS volunteers helped senior citizens
The National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers played an important role at all the polling booths. They assisted the voters in identifying their polling booths and also assisted the elderly voters.
First time voters get rousing welcome
The first time voters were given a rousing welcome at the model polling booths. They were welcomed by performing Bhangra at the Amity School in Sector 78. They were also given certificates and roses.