Punjab Lok Sabha Elections 2014 : 253 in Battle Ring of the EVMs

Main contest between SAD-BJP, Congress & AAP
Pressing a button on an electronic voting machine (EVM) will now be powerful expression of empowerment for a particular candidate of political party or independent. Punjab is now ready for an aggressive Battle Ring of the EVMs, which used to be through ballot papers in ballot boxes.
While all the major political parties – Shiromani Akali Dal, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are in fray but the entrance of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has added a new aspect to the battle.
Of the total 2.7 crore population in the State, 1,95,27114 would exercise their right to franchise, say about 70 per cent population would cast their vote by pressing the button on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs.)
This time, with the introduction of Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme at the root level, the voting percentage is expected to be have a high turn-out on the voting day, as intensive efforts have been made by taking the special interests by the District Election Officers. It has been seen that an elaborate campaign has been undertaken to educate and motivate the teenage voters to take part in the electoral process as their number in the state is expected to go beyond five lakhs.
At the same time, only a meager 138 NRI voters would be entitled to cast their vote of wich 81 are male and 57 female. While the Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Khadoor Sahib, Ferozepur, Bathinda and Patiala constituencies do not have even a single NRI voter, Hoshiarpur with 31 voters tops the list, followed by Ludhiana 26, Fatehgarh Sahib 15 and Faridkot 14.
In terms of electorate, the constituency wise break-up Constituency/No.of Candidates/Male/Female/Total is :
Sr.No. Constituency No.of candidates VOTE
Male Female Total
1 Gurdaspur 13 775367 712803 1488170
2 ASR (SC) 23 806445 712517 1518962
3 Khadoor Sahib 17 810080 743978 1554058
4 Jalandhar(SC) 24 806566 741836 1548402
5 HSP (SC) 17 753666 720041 1473707
6 Anandpur Sahib 18 811671 745517 1557188
7 Ludhiana 22 834643 725208 1559851
8 F.G.Sahib (SC) 15 737763 655644 1393407
9 Faridkot (SC) 19 764563 685860 1450423
10 Ferozepur 15 806445 712517 1518962
11 Bhatinda 11 807940 710898 1518838
12 Sangrur 21 753433 665024 1418457
13 Patiala 20 829466 744221 1573687
253 10266743 9260371 19527114
While the Patiala Lok Sabha seat with 15,73,687 voters would be the largest in the State while the Fategarh Sahib seat with an electorate of 13,93,407 lakh voters the smallest seat.
Total number of candidates in fray is 253 from all the political parties including independents. Against the total number of voters as 1,95,27,114, 1,02,66,743 male and 99,30,371 females.
The most interesting feature is that no woman candidate is in fray in five of Punjab’s 13 Lok Sabha seats, including in the key and progressive constituencies of Amritsar and Ludhiana. Other constituencies where there is no representation of fair sex are Khadoor Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib and Ferozepur Lok Sabha seats as per the data of Election Commission of India.
However, a total of 19 women candidates are contesting in the remaining eight constituencies, including five in Faridkot seat alone. The state has 253 contestants in all for the April 30 polls.
Among the prominent women candidates contesting this time are Union minister and sitting MP Preneet Kaur from Patiala, senior Congress leader Ambika Soni from Anandpur Sahib and SAD’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who is sitting MP from Bathinda.
Other women candidates in the fray include Jyoti Mann of AAP from Jalandhar, from where two more women are contesting as Independents.
Gurdaspur, has a woman candidate — Santosh Kumari of MEDP party, from where Punjab Congress chief and sitting MP Pratap Singh Bajwa and BJP’s Vinod Khanna are in fray, also.
While 23 candidates are contesting from Amritsar, where senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley is locked in a fight with former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of Congress, Ludhiana will witness a battle for supremacy involving 22 aspirants.
In the industrial town of Ludhiana, where sitting Congress MP Manish Tewari opted out of the race due to health reasons, the party has fielded Ravneet Bittu, current MP from Anandpur Sahib, to take on SAD’s Manpreet Ayali.
In Faridkot, both SAD and Bahujan Mukti Party have fielded women candidates sharing the same name, Paramjit Kaur, while the other three women in the fray are Independents.
Two women are contesting as Independents from Sangrur.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, only 13 women out of a total of 218 candidates had run for a parliamentary seat in Punjab.
Of the 13 Lok Sabha seats, at present Congress has eight MPs, SAD four and its alliance partner BJP one.
Going by the area of a seat, the Bathinda constituency spread over 5842 sq km is the largest in the State while the Ludhiana constituency, apparently among the thckest populated covers just 1997 sq km to be the smallest Lok Sabha seat in Punjab.
Of the 13 Lok Sabha seats the constituencies of Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Faridkot and Fatehgarh Sahib are reerved for Schedueld Caste (SC) candidates. No seats are however reserved for candidates belonging to the Scheduled Tribes (ST) in the State.
The state would have 21957 polling stations with adequate security cover to prevent untoward incidents. The EC has identified 1933 polling stations as critical.
About 400- companies of para-military forces have been requisitioned in the State to assist the state police in providing the security cover during the election days. The webcasting on the polling day would be done on 200 polling stations, while polling would take place from 8 am to 6 pm.
This time, Election Commission has taken a special notice of paid news and surrogate advertisements and that every suspicious news or advertisement would be scrutinized by the Media Certificate and Monitoring Committees (MCMC) and if found paid or surrogate then the expenditure on those would be included in the expenditure of the candidate concerned. All the political parties are bound to submit their list of star campaigners to the ECI in time so that the expenditure related to such campaigners could be proportionately added to the party as well as candidate’s expenditure. Every printed publicity matter must mention the name of the printer and publisher.
The expenditure limit is Rs.70 lakh with special emphasis on up-keeping the expenditure account, that too according to the rate list being provided by the District Electoral Officer (DEO) concerned.
The main contest is between SAD-BJP, Congress and AAP.
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