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Punjab re-poll on Thursday; holiday declared in 5 districts

The vote count would take place on March 11.

Punjab re-poll on Thursday; holiday declared in 5 districts

Chandigarh: With re-polling announced by the Election Commission in 48 polling stations, scheduled to be held on Thursday, the Punjab government has announced a holiday in five districts.

"In wake of the re-polling schedule to take place on some booths in five districts of the state tomorrow, the Punjab government has declared a holiday in Amritsar, Moga, Muktsar, Mansa and Sangrur districts on February 9," a Punjab government spokesperson said here on Wednesday.

All offices, boards, corporations, educational institutions and other public undertakings of the Punjab government would remain closed on February 9 in these five districts, the spokesperson said.

The state government has also declared a `paid holiday` in factories, shops and commercial establishments situated in the area of Amritsar parliamentary constituency and the assembly constituencies of Majitha, Moga, Muktsar, Sardulgarh and Sangrur, to enable people working there to cast their votes.

The Election Commission on Tuesday ordered re-poll in 48 polling stations of five assembly constituencies in Punjab where polling got interrupted due to snags in electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) equipment.

The poll panel said the re-polling was ordered "in order to uphold the integrity of electoral process".

Re-polling has been ordered in 12 polling stations in Majitha, nine in Muktsar, six in Sangrur, four in Sardulgarh and one polling station in Moga.

Besides, re-poll has been ordered in 16 polling stations of the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat for which by-election was also held on February 4 along with the assembly election.

"In some places due to VVPAT and EVMs malfunctioning, polling process got interrupted. Out of 24,697 ballot units (BUs) and 24,256 control units (CUs) used in Punjab, 180 BUs and 184 CUs failed. This works out to 0.73 per cent BUs and 0.76 per cent CUs," the Election Commission said.

"In the case of VVPATs, which were used for the first time in 33 assembly constituencies, out of total of 6,293 VVPATs, 255 (4.05 per cent) failed."

The fate of 1,145 candidates, including 81 women and one transgender, has been sealed in the EVMs following the Sunday voting. The vote count would take place on March 11.