72% turn out to seal Moga fate

Braving inclement weather, 71.81 per cent of the eligible voters came out to cast their vote in the by-election to Moga Assembly constituency on Saturday.

"As many as 71.81 per cent of voters exercised their franchise. The polling remained peaceful and no untoward incident was reported," additional deputy commissioner-returning officer for Moga bypoll, Joram Beda, said.

A total of 10 candidates were in the fray where the main contest is between the ruling SAD-BJP's Joginder Pal Jain and main Congress' Vijay Kumar Sathi.

While the turnout was 4.98 per cent less than that of the January 2012 Assembly election when 76.79 per cent people had voted, the political parties expressed satisfaction over the percentage given the continuous downpour, which started at early in morning and stopped only after 3pm.

As per the the reports, rural areas of Moga, which is also birthplace of Lala Lajpat Rai, recorded 77.80 per cent turnout compared to 63.85 per cent in Moga city

The polling, held amid tight security, started on a dull note in the morning due to rainy weather but picked up as the day progressed and people flocked the booths to cast their votes, Election Commission officials said.

Till 10am only 12.7per cent electors had cast their votes. It touched 32.4per cent by 12.30 pm when the rain stopped for some time and rose to 55.30 per cent at 3.45 pm. Talking to the Indian Express, Jain said, "Rain created many problems and affecting the voter turnout. Many residents complained that that the security forces were not allowing vehicles inside the polling stations despite rain."

The SAD leader, however, expressed satisfaction over the voting percentage.

In rural areas people were seen braving the rain to reach the booths. The entrance to polling stations in Jhandewala, Buddh Singh Wala, Charik, Dagru, Godhewal and other villages were completely waterlogged. The poor condition of the roads made it worse.

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