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Voting begins in Punjab amid tight security

Amritsar, Mon, 30 Jan 2012 ANI

Amritsar/Patiala, Jan.30 (ANI): Voting began in Punjab for 117 assembly constituencies amid tight security on Monday.


Elections are being held at 19,841 polling booths across 22 districts, out of which 2,718 have been categorised hyper sensitive and 6,379 as sensitive.


People of the state will determine the fate of 1,078 candidates, including the two chief ministerial aspirants, Parkash Singh Badal of ruling National Democratic Alliance-Shiromani Akali Dal alliance and Amarinder Singh of the opposition Congress party.


Voters in Amritsar said that everybody should make use of their rights and help to build a strong nation.


"This is the right, when people talk of their rights, then this is our first right that we should definitely cast our vote. We are not voting for a party; we are voting for our nation because we are going to build the nation, we are the nation builders. So we should definitely cast our vote," said Chandra Kiranjeet, a voter.


In Patiala, a majority of the voters said: "Our nation would march forward towards progress as long as more people come forward to cast their votes."


"Yeah, I am feeling proud to be the first voter and everybody should cast their vote. It is good for all, the more the voters cast their vote, the more it will be beneficial for the country and Punjab," said Tarulbir Singh, another voter.


Tight security was in place to avoid any untoward incidents. Around 237 companies of paramilitary forces and over 55,000 state police personnel have been deployed for poll duties across the state.


Police have increased patrolling and vigilance, besides carrying out flag-marches.


The Deputy Superintendent of Police of Patiala, Kesar Singh, said the police is confident about ensuring a peaceful, free and fair poll across the region.


"These are sensitive polling station, so we have deployed five paramilitary forces and five state police personnel and continuous patrolling is going on. We are confident that these polls will be conducted peacefully and fearlessly," said Singh.


At least 2627 video cameras and 554 digital cameras have been installed at polling stations and around 203 booths are using live web casting for the first time.


The ensuing polls are being viewed as an opportunity for India's major parties to re-establish or strengthen their footholds in the country's five major states.


The results of the polls would be declared on March 6. (ANI)


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