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Posted at: Oct 22, 2019, 7:30 AM; last updated: Oct 22, 2019, 7:30 AM (IST)

Turnout dips by 9% in Kalka

Records 70% polling against 79% in the 2014 Assembly poll
Turnout dips by 9% in Kalka
Residents show their voter identity cards at a polling booth in Pinjore on Monday. Photo: RAVI KUMAR

Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service
Kalka, October 21

Around 9 per cent decrease in voter turnout was witnessed in the Kalka Assembly segment, which went to the polls today. Around 70 per cent polling was recorded against the 79 per cent polling in the 2014 Assembly elections.

As compared to the Lok Sabha elections held in May this year the Kalka Assembly had witnessed around 3 per cent decline in the voting percentage as 72.80 per cent votes were polled.

According to the poll pundits, the decline of around 9 per cent in the overall turnout means that people were not happy with the functioning of the BJP. Senior Congress leader Vijay Bansal said that the sitting MLA had failed to fulfil the promises.

BJP MLA Latika Sharma had got 42 per cent of the total votes polled, while the then INLD leader and now Congress candidate Pradeep Chaudhary had got 25.14 per cent votes. Congress’ Manvir Kaur had got 15.36 per cent votes in 2014.

People started queuing up at the polling booths at 7 am, but the rush gradually declined as women were busy in the ‘Ahoi Ashtami’ celebrations being observed in their homes. The polling in the area was peaceful as no untoward incident was reported.

Latika Sharma (BJP) and Pardeep Chaudhary (Congress) were seen moving from one polling station to the other checking the voter turnout.

Around 3 per cent polling was recorded at 10 am, but as the day progressed, the voter turnout increased to 11 .1 per cent till 11 am. By 1 pm, the turnout was recorded at 23.7 per cent, which later rose up to 51.51 per cent at 4 pm and further went up to 70 per cent when the polling came to an end.

While Latika Sharma and her family had cast their vote at Senior Secondary School in Pinjore, Pardeep Chaudhary and family exercised their franchise at a polling booth in Sector 2, Panchkula.

People, especially youth in Pinjore and villages, did not have national issues, including abrogation of Article 370 or Pakistan issue, in their mind while voting. They said they voted for development and other local issues and they had nothing to do with the Article 370.

Residents of Gumthala village, who had earlier decided to boycott the poll, rollbacked their decision and around 90 per cent polling was witnessed in the village. According to information, Pardeep Chaudhary had visited the Gurjar community-dominated village and assured them that development works would be carried out in the village on a priority basis.

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