‘Higher turnout in Punjab, U’khand than last time’

EC said more voters exercised their franchise in Assembly polls in Punjab and Uttarakhand this time as compared to last Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.

New Delhi: The Election Commission today
said more voters came out to exercise their franchise in
assembly polls in Punjab and Uttarakhand this time as compared
to the last Assembly and Lok Sabha polls and polling in the
two states was "peaceful and incident-free".

Polling percentage in Punjab was recorded at 70 per cent
till 5 pm but with several people still in queue to cast their
votes at booths across the state, the Election Commission was
confident that it will reach 77 per cent.

The polling percentage in Punjab during the last Assembly
elections in 2007 was 75.36 per cent while in Lok Sabha the
figure was 70.04 per cent.
In Uttarakhand, the turnout at 5 pm was 65 per cent but
the final figure was expected to be above 70 per cent.

This figure is higher than recorded in 2007 in
Uttarakhand when it was 63.96 per cent while in 2009 Lok Sabha
elections it was only 53.96 per cent.

The Election Commission was quick to take credit for
this with Deputy Election Commissioner Alok Shukla saying this
increase was a result of the poll panel`s campaign "greater
participation for a better democracy".
Polling in both states was by and large peaceful and the
run-up to the polls saw seizure of large amounts of cash,
liquor and drugs meant for influencing the voters, the EC

Cash seized in Punjab was Rs 12.13 crore and in
Uttarakhand it was Rs 1.36 crore.

Deputy Election Commissioner Sudhir Tripathi said a
CISF Senior Commandant Ajit Singh Parmar, 55, died of heart
attack in Haridwar in Uttarakhand during poll duty.