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A relaxed Malwa seals fate of its MPs
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
It was more of a holiday than a polling day for the Malwais as they chose forenoon and late afternoon to exercise their franchise to seal the fate of 70-odd contestants for four Lok Sabha seats from their region.

Punjab is known for good polling percentage and Malwa has kept that tradition alive with a turnout of over 60 per cent today. Minor and stray incidents apart, polling was peaceful.

In spite of the sweltering heat, as the maximum temperature hovered around 39 degrees Celsius, the voting percentage was fairly impressive. Polling did not disrupt normal life as several marriages were solemnised in the region. At one place in Sangrur, members of a marriage party went to cast their vote before they left for solemnising the ceremony.

Sealed in the electronic voting machines is the political future of Raninder Singh, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Jagmeet Singh Brar, Sher Singh Ghubaiya, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Simranjit Singh Mann, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, Preneet Kaur and Prem Singh Chandumajra besides others.

Interestingly, women, especially the first-timers, outnumbered their male counterparts at polling booths where “bitterness” normally associated with Congress-Akali political rivalry was conspicuous by its absence.

Instead, camaraderie prevailed as workers of the two major political parties were seen exchanging pleasantries and even serving cold water and tea to each other. While pooling booths were virtually empty between noon and 3 pm because of sweltering heat, supporters of the candidates, however, remained present in good numbers in a virtual show of strength outside each polling station.

Everywhere queues of women were much larger than those of men. Even newly married girls, mothers carrying toddlers and also those in their late seventies and eighties had come out to cast their votes. The Tribune team came across an old man, Ranjit Singh, at Badrukhan in Sangrur, who claimed himself to be over 110 years old. At Banur, a young woman claiming her grandmother to be 110 years old was seen escorting her out of the polling station.

People with special needs, differently abled persons and senior citizens were shown respect and were given precedence over others.

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