Punjab bypolls: 50 pc voter turnout till 1600 hrs

CHANDIGARH: An estimated turnout of 50.52 per cent of a 7 lakh electorate was recorded in bypolls to four assembly seats in Punjab till 1600 hrs on Monday.
As per Election Commission, 46.42 percent polling was recorded in Phagwara, Mukerian 48.11 per cent, Dakha 50.8 per cent and Jalalabad 57 per cent.
Polling is progressing, by and large, peacefully. However, in some areas, minor clashes between cadre of Indian National Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance were reported, which were settled after the intervention of the police.
Although Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are also in the fray, the main contest is likely to be witnessed between the ruling Congress and the SAD-BJP alliance. The prestige of Congress party is also at stake in these elections, forcing the party to leaving no stone unturned in their campaigning.
In Dakha, senior Advocate and AAP leader HS Phoolka had won the seat in the last Assembly elections. The seat became vacant after Phoolka resigned from the Assembly. Congress candidate and Chief Minister’s Advisor Captain Sandeep Sandhu now faces former Akali Dal MLA Manpreet Ayali in a stiff competition.