Punjab voter turnout around 70% with Malwa having the edge

AAP's influence can be seen in Malwa, Channi's in Doaba, and Majha is still in the difficult contest.

punjab-election-2022 election-commission-of-punjab bjp-vote-share-in-punjab-2019
"The voter turnout was 70 percent with chances of the final figures likely to increase marginally. Rural areas saw a high percentage of polling compared to urban ones," an electoral officer told IANS here.

The province of Punjab is divided into three regions: Malwa has 69 Assembly seats, Majha has 25, and the Doaba region has 23 Assembly seats. The AAP won 20 seats in the Malwa area in the 2017 elections. In comparison to the Doaba and Majha regions, the Malwa region, which has the most seats (69), had the highest poll percentage. Malwa comprising of Gidderbaha got the 82% of voter turnout, and Sardulgarh got 83.45% of voter turnout trend. It is also seen that the areas where the villages are more in number got higher turnout percentages instead of urban areas. 

According to election officials, the overall voter participation in Punjab on Sunday in a single-phase, multi-cornered election for the 117-member Assembly seats was around 70%. Over 2.14 crore voters are set to decide the fate of 1,304 candidates contesting for Punjab assembly seats. With 1,304 candidates, including 93 women and two transgenders, Punjab is seeing a multi-faceted election. The results of the election will be announced on March 10. 

The major struggle is between the ruling Congress party, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which is running in an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party after breaking two-decade-long relations with the BJP over farm policies in 2020. 

Voter turnout variations from 1997 to 2017

  1. 1997: The Akali Dal-BJP administration was formed in Punjab with a voter turnout of 68.7%.
  2. 2002: Only 62.14 percent of eligible voters cast votes. Then Congress regained power.
  3. 2007: 76 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. Following that, the Akali Dal reclaimed power.
  4. 2012: There was an anti-incumbency wave, with turnout rising to 78.3 percent. After then, Akali Dal regained power.
  5. 2017: Voter turnout dipped to 77.2 percent, and Congress won power under Captain Amarinder Singh's leadership.
  6. 2022: Voter turnout again seems to be dipping at 70 percent, a tough match between all the parties.

Experts estimate that if the Aam Aadmi Party wins a large number of seats in the Majha and Doaba regions, it will easily form the next government in Punjab; else, the state will have a hung legislature.