The Weekend Leader - Less than 45% polling for Municipal Corporation Chandigarh by 3 p.m.

Less than 45% polling for Municipal Corporation Chandigarh by 3 p.m.




Less than 45 per cent out of the total 6,33,475 people cast their votes for the 35-ward Municipal Corporation Chandigarh, two hours before the polling ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, poll officials said. The ballots will be counted on December 27.

Long queues were seen throughout the day outside a majority of the polling booths located in colonies and villages located in the suburbs of Chandigarh.

BJP MP Kirron Kher reached a polling booth in Sector-7 to cast her vote.

Former city MPs Pawan Bansal (Congress) and Satya Pal Jain (BJP) too cast their votes, besides former Chandigarh BJP unit President Sanjay Tandon.

Outgoing BJP Mayor, Ravi Kant Sharma and Chandigarh BJP unit President, Arun Sood voted in Sector-37.

As per the officials, the poll percentage was just 33.71 per cent till 1 p.m.

Wing Commander (retd) Satish Bhatia, a former Olympian and a national badminton champion, along with his wife Madhu Bhatia were among the early voters.

"Despite my illness, I decided not to miss an opportunity to elect a Councillor of your choice on whom you can vouch for enhancing urban amenity and increasing usable green spaces," Bhatia, who was a decorated bomber pilot with the Indian Air Force, told IANS outside the Sector-47 polling booth.

Justifying his decision to vote despite his old age, R.P. Dua, 85, a retired Central government employee and a resident of Sector 27-D, said, "When it comes to electing a Councillor, the preference goes to the candidate who communicates the needs of the community, especially the elderly to the Municipal Council, despite his/her political affiliation."

"There has been no report of any hiccups in the poll process across the 35 wards," an electoral officer told IANS.

The ruling BJP made development and its achievements in the past six years as its main campaign agenda.

The Congress, having lost three successive elections to the BJP, based its campaign on anti-incumbency, saying the saffron party failed miserably to retain the tag of the 'City Beautiful'.

The AAP campaign was largely focused on replicating its successful "Delhi Model" in the city.

A total of 212 polling stations have been set up in different parts of the city. Among 694 booths, 220 are sensitive. Most of these booths are in the 13 new villages that were merged with the municipal corporation.

Unlike the 2016 civic body poll, there will be nearly 1,000 voters per polling booth. The figure was around 1,400-1,500 in 2016.
Over 6,000 police and BSF personnel will be on poll duty and there will be 4,200 poll officials. -IANS

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