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Punjab Assembly Election 2017: State to go to polls on 4 February

The state of Punjab will go to poll on 4 February, the Election Commission said on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said that election in Punjab will take place in a single phase with the last date for withdrawing nomination being 18 January, scrutiny of candidates on 19 January and withdrawal of candidate set on 21 January.

The EC also said that it will enforce the recent Supreme Court ruling on religion in all poll going states including Punjab.

Currently, under the rule of the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance, the state has been witnessing a lot of reshuffling from politicians over the last few months as political parties readied to gain control of the western state of India.

However, the ruling alliance is likely to face stiff competition with demonetisation emerging as one of the main topics in the upcoming polls and the poll contest emerging into a trilateral contest with SAD-BJP placed against Congress and debutant Aam Aadmi party.

Interestingly, the pre-poll surveys have given a sharp edge to the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP. The opinion polls too, have revealed that AAP is enjoying an unprecedented novelty value in the state.

That's not all, though. With issues like water scarcity for farmers, drugs and a law and order situation heating up the debate, the ruling SAD-BJP may also face a tough competition.

Earlier, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Tuesday had urged the Election Commission to check "proliferation" of firearms in the state.

Alleging Punjab police had "failed" to ensure surrender of all firearms as per the EC directives, Amarinder had termed it a "deliberate ploy", instigated by the Badal government, to allow armed goons to "terrorise" the people in the run-up to the polls to "pressurise them to vote for the Akali Dal."

He had alleged total lack of law and order in the state under the Badal regime, which had given a "free run" to armed gangs, criminals and mafias to unleash their terror on the people of Punjab.

Updated Date: Jan 04, 2017 21:00 PM

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