Chandigarh, Oct 11: Gurdaspur Lok Sabha by-poll recorded a turnout of 56 percent voters on Wednesday. The turnout was lower in comparison with general elections in 2014 when 70.03 percent voters had cast votes. The Election Commission officials said voting at 1,781 polling stations passed off peacefully.

Notably, the seat fell vacant earlier this year following the death of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and actor Vinod Khanna. The results of the bypoll will be announced on October 15.

A total of 11 candidates are contesting the election. The BJP has fielded Swaran Salaria, who was recently accused of rape by a woman on the pretext of marriage. On the other hand, the Congress has fielded senior party leader Sunil Jakhar and the Aam Aadmi Party, which came second in the assembly elections, has fielded retired major general Suresh Khajuria.

For the Congress, which grabbed 77 out of 117 seats in the Punjab Assembly elections 2017, Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll will be the reflection of their six months in power. Meanwhile, for the BJP it can be seen as a mode of regaining its ground in Punjab. The Aam Aadmi Party, that won 20 seats in the Assembly elections, however, may look to increase its electoral footprint in the state. The bypoll will also be a test for the SAD-BJP alliance. Reportedly, the BJP has given over its entire poll management to SAD for the Gurdaspur bypoll.

For the party, which wins the Gurdaspur bypoll on October 15, it will be a big boost ahead of the 2019 General elections.