Journal : Xinhua net Date : Author : NA Page No. : NA

Source: Xinhua

NEW DELHI, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) — Voting for the local elections in two Indian states of Punjab and Goal Saturday began amid tight security and adequate arrangements, officials said.

Polling in Goa began at 7:00 a.m. local time, while as in Punjab it started at 8:00 in morning and would go on at both the states until 5:00 p.m. local time.

Long queues of people including women both young and old were seen waiting to cast their ballots at the designated polling booths in the twin sates.

Reports poring in from northern state of Punjab said 35 percent voting was recorded until 1:00 p.m. while as in western Goa it was 53 percent.

Officials said more than 22,500 polling stations have been set up across Punjab, where nearly 20 million voters would exercise their franchise.

Authorities have deployed 100,000 security personnel and police in the state to ensure violence free voting.

Political analysts said there is a three-cornered contest in Punjab’s 117-member constituencies among the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) alliance, Congress party and new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or common man’s party. Shiromani Akali Dal, a regional party has been in power in the state for past one decade.

In western state of Goa, more than 1.1 million voters are expected to cast their votes for 40-member Goa Assembly. Reports said 90 companies of paramilitary forces and local police have been deployed in the state for smooth conduct of polls.

According to political analysts in Goa, the ruling BJP is facing a strong competition from Congress and AAP in the elections.

Officials said so far no untoward incident has been reported from anywhere in the poll bound states.

In both the states, elections would be an acid test for ruling BJP especially in the backdrop of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization move, which he announced in November last year.

The radical move was opposed by all the opposition parties besides common people, who faced lot of hardships in banks.

Counting of votes according to India’s Election Commission would be carried out on March 11.

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