Elections 2022: Punjab sees 68 per cent turnout, EVM trouble hits UP

Punjab recorded a voter turnout of 68.3 per cent as the polls closed late in the evening

New Delhi: Amid complaints of malfunctioning of EVMs in Uttar Pradesh’s Yadav family stronghold, the state voted in the third phase while Punjab voted in the single-phase election on Sunday. Punjab recorded a voter turnout of 68.3 per cent as the polls closed late in the evening, and officials said a total of 18 FIRs were filed over poll-related incidents. In the third phase in UP, a turnout of 60.1 per cent was registered as the polls closed.

The Samajwadi Party took to the social media to complain of problems with EVMs. It said the EVM at Farrukhabad 194 booth no 38 did not have its party symbol, the cycle.

At Hathras booth number 322, the EVM was not functional and people were reported to be returning without being able to cast their votes. A similar complaint came from Kannauj’s Chhibramau along with the allegation that at booth number 462 the election officer had broken the seal and was trying to get some votes cast before the scheduled time. In Etawah, there were allegations that the slips given by booth level officers were not being accepted and many people were not allowed to cast their votes.

The SP also said that in Kanpur Rural’s Bhognipur Assembly seat booth number 121, the BJP’s slip was coming out while pressing the SP button. The party also alleged that the administration was helping a BJP candidate in Auraiya booth number 186 while in Mainpuri booth numbers 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 the SP candidate was not being allowed in.

The party also alleged that in Mainpuri’s Bhagpur village’s booth numbers 224 and 225, the villagers were not allowed to cast their votes. Among all this SP spokesperson I.P. Singh commented on Twitter: “ECI was nowhere in sight”.

In UP’s Kanpur, BJP mayor Pramila Pandey recorded herself as she cast her vote for her party nominee and shared this on the social media, after which an FIR was ordered to be filed by the Kanpur district magistrate. A similar act was repeated by another BJP leader, Nawab Singh.

“The public is unhappy with the BJP and this time the elections are about removing it from Uttar Pradesh. They (BJP) are anxious that the public is angry with them, so their language and behaviour has changed,” SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said in Saifai.

In Punjab too, there were allegations flowing. Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, who was barred from entering polling booths and asked to stay at home, took to Twitter to accuse other party candidates of trying to buy off votes. His sister Malvika Sood is contesting from Moga as a Congress candidate. Moga district PRO Pradbhdeep Singh said Sonu Sood was trying to enter a polling booth when his car was confiscated and he was sent home. “Action will be taken against him if he steps out of his house,” the official said.

However, Sonu Sood said: “We got to know of threat calls at various booths by the Opposition, especially the people of the Akali Dal. Money was being distributed at some booths. So, it is our duty to go check and ensure fair elections. That is why we had gone out. Now, we are at home. There should be fair polls.”

In Ferozepur Urban, two sons of BJP candidate Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi and Bollywood actor Mahie Gill, besides an aide of the constituency’s Congress nominee, were booked for poll code violations.

In Punjab, the Congress, AAP and the BJP-Amarinder Singh alliance are up in an enthusiastically contested poll for 117 seats. “The Congress Party will form a government with a two-thirds majority in Punjab,” Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi said, while Akali Dal’s Sukhbir Singh Badal said the Akali-BSP alliance will win 80-plus seats.

“They (Congress) are concerned about what I am able to achieve in Punjab, which is going against them. I can predict that the Congress will not get more than 20-30 seats. What is Charanjit Singh Channi? Is he a magician that in three months he can perform miracles in Punjab? He was given all the credit to try to make him a hero before the elections,” former Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh said.

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