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Counting of ballots for Punjab by-polls begins

The Congress has 78 legislators in the 117-member House.

Counting of ballots for Punjab by-polls begins
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Chandigarh: Counting of ballots to the four Assembly seats that went to by-polls in the Congress-ruled Punjab began on Thursday amidst heavy security arrangements.

A turnout of 61 per cent was registered on October 21.

The Jalalabad seat saw the highest poll percentage of 70 per cent, followed by Dhaka (64), Mukerian (57.28) and Phagwara (49.96 per cent). The main contest is between the Congress and the Akali Dal-BJP alliance. Besides, the AAP, the BSP and the Lok Insaaf Party have also fielded their candidates.

The fate of 33 candidates will be decided.

The by-election to the Jalalabad seat was necessitated because of former Deputy Chief Minister and Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal quitting the seat. The Dakha seat was vacated by the AAP`s H.S. Phoolka and Phagwara by the BJP`s Som Parkash. Mukerian is going to the polls as sitting MLA Rajnish Babbi of the Congress died.

The Congress has fielded former state youth chief Raminder Awla from Jalalabad, Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal from Phagwara, Indu Bala from Mukerian and Sandeep Singh Sandhu from Dakha.

BJP ally Akali Dal has fielded Manpreet Singh Ayali from Dakha and Raj Singh Dibbipura from Jalalabad. The BJP has fielded Rajesh Bagga from Phagwara and Jangi Lal Mahajan from Mukerian.

The Congress has 78 legislators in the 117-member House.