State assembly polls likely omen for ruling BJP

The Aam Aadmi Party has debuted in these states, in a bid to expand their presence beyond Delhi where they had a landslide victory in 2015.”Nearly 70 per cent polling has taken place”, an election office spokesman said here giving the preliminary figures of poll percentage.An impressive 83 per cent voting was recorded in the state in 2012 assembly polls, which saw the BJP wresting power from the Congress. “Shameless dictator (sic)”, the AAP’s national convener said on Twitter.Campaigning for Assembly elections in Punjab and Goa ended on Thursday.Interestingly, #ChalaDoJhadu, #Vote4Congress and #PunjabPolls2017 were trending entire day on twitter. The state which has 40 assembly seats for which 250 candidates contested, the BJP hopes to form a government again despite parting ways with former partner Maharashrtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) soon after elections were announced.”Voter turnout was 78.62% with Mansa district witnessing the highest polling at 87.34%, while the least polling was seen at 71.9% in SAS Nagar (Mohali)”, a spokesperson for Punjab Chief Electoral Officer told The Hindu. Briefing media in New Delhi this evening, Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said the polling passed off peacefully. “Barring stray incidents of violence the polling in single-phase remained peaceful”, V.K. Bhawra, additional director general of police (ADGP-elections), said. There was also an untoward incident, when supporters of two parties clashed in the Lalu Ghuman village of Tarn Taran.The AAP is projected to win 63 seats in the 117-seat Punjab assembly, with the Congress in second place and the incumbent BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal combine a distant third.The enthusiasm of voters was nearly equal in rural and urban areas.In the high-stake election, the first after Modi Government’s demonetisation move, 1,145 candidates, including 81 women and a transgender candidate, are in the fray.At the end of official voting time at 5 pm, there were 30,906 voters still in queue and polling went on for close to three-and-a-half hours more.Voting for the by-election to the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat was also held on Saturday. “The development we have done is unmatched”, said senior Badal after exercising his franchise.The election also saw Goa earn the credential of being the first state in the country to fully implement the electronically transmitted postal ballot system and the VVPAT technology, which allows voters to verify whether they have voted correctly. The votes will be counted on March 11.