Punjab bypoll: 10.30% voter turnout in Jalandhar West till 9 am

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Jalandhar: A voter turnout of 10.30 per cent was recorded till 9 am in the Jalandhar West assembly bypoll in Punjab on Wednesday.

Amid tight security arrangements, polling began at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm, officials said. Votes will be counted on July 13.

A voter turnout of 10.30 per cent was recorded till 9 am, an official said.

The Jalandhar West constituency is witnessing a multi-cornered contest with major political outfits like AAP, Congress and BJP vying to outdo each other.

Fifteen candidates are in the fray for the by-election.

Congress candidate Surinder Kaur was among the early voters. Speaking to reporters, she slammed the AAP government and claimed that people were fed up with it.

AAP candidate Mohinder Bhagat exuded confidence that people would ensure his party's victory.

BSP candidate Binder Kumar also exercised his right to franchise.

There are a total of 1,71,963 eligible voters -- 89,629 males, 82,326 females and eight third gender voters.

There are 874 Persons with Disabilities (PwD) category voters for whom necessary arrangements of wheelchairs and pick-and-drop facility have been made, the officials said.

A total of 181 polling stations have been set up, they said, adding that 10 model polling booths have been set up.

The Jalandhar West assembly seat fell vacant after Sheetal Angural resigned as AAP legislator and joined the BJP in March.

The ruling AAP has fielded Mohinder Bhagat, the son of former minister Bhagat Chunni Lal.

The Congress has placed its bet on Surinder Kaur, a former senior deputy mayor, while the BJP has fielded Angural.

Though the Shiromani Akali Dal had fielded Surjit Kaur for the bypoll, it later withdrew its support and disowned her amid the party's ongoing infighting.

Later, the SAD had announced its decision to support BSP nominee Binder Kumar for the bypoll.

The bypoll is being seen as a litmus test for Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, after the ruling AAP's poor showing in the recent Lok Sabha polls. The AAP won only three of the 13 parliamentary constituencies in Punjab.

Prestige is also at stake for the BJP which also wants to taste victory from the Jalandhar West seat after drawing a blank in the state in the Lok Sabha polls.

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