CHANDIGARH--Polling for 117 Punjab assembly seats that will decide the fate of 1,145 candidates began today amid tight security.
Punjab is witnessing a three-cornered contest between ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance, opposition Congress and new entrant Aam Aadmi Party.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has fielded candidates in 94 seats while its ally BJP has nominated candidates in the remaining 23 seats. Congress is contesting alone on all seats.
AAP, which is contesting Punjab polls for the first time, has fielded candidates in 112 seats, while its ally Lok Insaf Party, led by Ludhiana-based Bains brothers, has fielded nominees in five seats.
Other political outfits in the fray include BSP, former AAP leader Sucha Singh Chhotepur-led Apna Punjab Party, the Left comprising CPI and CPI-M, and SAD-Amritsar.
About 1.98 crore electors will seal the fate of 1,145 candidates by voting through EVMs during the high-stakes election.
Over 200 companies of para-military forces have been deputed for the fair conduct of polls.
Voting for Amritsar Lok Sabha seat by-poll is also being held amid tight security arrangements.
The total number of electors in the state is 1,98,79,069, including 93,75,546 females. There are 415 transgender voters as well.
The total number of candidates in the fray, include 81 women and one transgender. The polling commenced at 22,615 polling stations in the entire state.
While 84 Assembly seats are of general category, 34 are reserved.