Punjab Assembly Elections 2022 Voting Live News Updates: Latest news and updates on Punjab Voting including election latest news, Polls voting percentage, how to vote, key candidates and many more
Punjab’s 117 seats spread across 23 districts will go to polls in a single-phase on Sunday. Over 2.14 crore voters will decide the fate of 1,304 candidates, including 93 women. The Election Commission had earlier postponed the date of voting for the Assembly polls from 14 February to 20 February in the wake of Guru Ravidas Jayanti.
The high-pitched campaigning, which saw the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union minister Smriti Irani, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal, came to an end on 18 February, 2022.
Polling on Sunday will be held from 8 am till 6 pm across 24,740 polling stations, of which 2,013 have been identified as critical.
Punjab is witnessing a multi-cornered contest among the Congress, AAP, SAD-BSP alliance, BJP-PLC-SAD (Sanyukt) and the Sanyukt Samaj Morcha, a political front of various farmer bodies.
The ruling Congress, which is seeking to retain power, has come under severe attack from its political opponents over various issues, including drug menace and corruption. The Congress is banking on decisions like reducing electricity tariff and fuel prices, taken during current chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s 111-day tenure.
The Aam Aadmi Party, which has emerged as a major contender, is eyeing to wrest power while projecting the Delhi model of governance.
Shiromani Akali Dal is contesting the polls in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party after breaking ties with the BJP in 2020 over the farm laws issue. With Sukhbir Singh Badal in the driving seat, the SAD has called itself Punjab’s own party and promised all-round development of the state.
The BJP, which used to be a junior partner during its previous alliance with the SAD, is fighting the elections as a major partner. Entering into an alliance with Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Lok Congress and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa-led SAD (Sanyukt), the saffron party has asked voters to go for a double-engine government for Nawan (new) Punjab.
The Sanyukt Samaj Morcha, comprising various Punjab farmer bodies, which had taken part in the stir against the Centre’s now repealed farm laws, is contesting the polls in alliance with Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union (Chaduni) leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni-led Sanyukt Sangharsh Party.
The prominent faces who are in the fray are Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, Aam Aadmi Party’s chief ministerial face Bhagwant Mann, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, former chief ministers Amarinder Singh and Parkash Singh Badal, and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal. Former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma and former Union minister Vijay Sampla are also fighting the elections.
In the 2017 Punjab Assembly election, AAP had emerged as the principal Opposition party. In the 117-seat state Assembly, while the Congress won 77 seats out of all the 117 constituencies on which it had fielded its candidates, AAP won 20 out of the 112 seats which it had contested, SAD was victorious on 15 out of the 94 seats it had fought, BJP had won 3 of the 23 seats it contested in alliance with SAD. While the Congress garnered a vote share of 38.5 per cent, AAP bagged 23.72 per cent vote share, SAD 25.24 and BJP got 5.39 per cent of the vote share.
What’s at stake
All major political parties have promised a host of freebies to woo voters. While AAP has promised Rs 1,000 for all women, the Congress has also promised Rs 1,100 per month for needy women.
The SAD-BSP alliance has promised Rs 2,000 per month to all women heads of blue card holder families (BPL beneficiaries).
The Congress and the SAD-BSP alliance have promised one lakh government jobs. The SAD-BSP promised 75 per cent reservation for state youth in public and private sectors. The BJP led alliance has made a similar promise, but for the government sector only.
AAP has promised up to 300 units of free power while the SAD-BSP promised 400 units of free electricity.
Unemployment, education, drug menace, illegal sand mining and sacrilege incidents are the main election issues in this year’s Assembly Elections.
In the wake of elections, the state government has declared a paid holiday for employees working in shops, commercial establishments and factories on Sunday. Besides, Chandigarh on Friday declared ‘Dry Day’ from 6 pm of 18 February till the conclusion of Assembly elections in Punjab on 20 February.
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