Chandigarh: Voting for 117 Assembly seats in Punjab began on Sunday morning amid tight security arrangements.
Polling started at 8 am and will continue till 6 pm.
A total of 1,304 candidates, including 93 women and two transgenders, are in the fray for the high-stake electoral contest.
There are 2,14,99,804 voters, including 1,02,00,996 women.
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There are 24,740 polling stations, of which 2,013 have been identified as critical while 2,952 are vulnerable, said Punjab Chief Electoral Officer S Karuna Raju.
Punjab is witnessing a multi-cornered contest among the Congress, AAP, SAD-BSP, BJP-PLC-SAD (Sanyukt) and the Sanyukt Samaj Morcha, a political front of various farmer bodies.
The Shiromani Akali Dal is contesting the polls in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
The BJP is fighting the elections in alliance with Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Lok Congress and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa-led SAD (Sanyukt).
The SSM is contesting the polls with Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union (Chaduni) leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni-led Sanyukt Sangharsh Party.
Prominent faces in the fray include Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, Aam Aadmi Party’s chief ministerial face Bhagwant Mann, Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu, former CMs Amarinder Singh and Parkash Singh Badal, and Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma and former Union minister Vijay Sampla are also in the fray.
A total of 700 companies of the central armed police force besides the state police personnel have been deployed.
There are 196 pink polling stations for women while 70 polling stations will be managed by persons with disabilities (PwD).
In the wake of COVID-19, arrangements have been made for masks, gloves and sanitisers at polling stations and also for the disposal of Covid waste material.