Chandigarh: Around 1.76 crore voters will seal the fate of 1,078 candidates, including the two Chief Ministerial aspirants Parkash Singh Badal of ruling SAD-BJP and Amarinder Singh of opposition Congress, in fray for 117 assembly seats in Punjab where polling will take place on Monday amidst tight security.

About 200 companies of the central Para military forces, besides Punjab Police personnel, have been deployed to ensure free and peaceful polling at 19,841 polling stations, including five identified as "hyper-sensitive" and 32 as sensitive, an election office spokesman said.

Out of the 1,078 candidates in fray 417, including 45 women, are Independents. At the last hustings in 2007, after scrutiny and withdrawal there were a total of 1,055 candidates, including 56 women, in fray.

The ruling SAD-BJP alliance, the Congress and BSP are contesting all the 117 assembly seats. Newly formed Punjab People's Party is contesting 92 while SAD (Amritsar) headed by former IPS officer Simranjit Singh Mann is contesting 57 seats.

The SAD has put up candidates on 94 seats which include 10 women while the BJP is contesting the remaining 23 seats, which includes three women.

The Congress has fielded 11 women while the BSP has fielded six women.

Most of the 117 assembly seats will witness a triangular contest between the ruling SAD-BJP alliance, the main bopposition Congress and the Sanjha Morcha which includes the Left and People's Party of Punjab (PPP) led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's estranged nephew Manpreet.

Prominent among those in fray include Badal (Lambi) as also his predecessor Amarinder (Patiala City) whose sons Sukhbir, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister (Jalalabad) and Raninder (Samana) are also in the fray besides another former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal (Lehra).

Two civil servants D S Guru, Principal Secretary to the CM and P S Gill, DGP, who resigned and retired respectively shortly before the assembly polls have filed their nominations from Bhadaur and Moga.

(Agencies)