Violence mars Ludhiana Municipal Corporation polls; BJP-SAD, AAP claim 'booth capturing' and 'bogus voting'

Ludhiana: Stray incidents of violence marred the polling in 95 wards of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation on Saturday, with opposition parties claiming that the ruling Congress indulged in "booth capturing" and "bogus voting".

About 60 percent eligible voters cast their vote, though the exact percentage of voting could be known, officials said. The counting of votes will take place on February 27. As many as 494 candidates were in the fray for the elections. Nearly 10.50 lakh voters were eligible to cast their votes to elect their representatives in the 95 wards.

Reports said members of the ruling party and opposition parties clashed in several wards. In ward number 75, suspected Akali workers fired a shot from his revolver after clashes between supporters of Congress candidate Varsha Rampal and Akali candidate Sukhwinder Kaur Bhinda. Two cars were badly damaged in the clashes. The person who opened fire was arrested, a police official said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

AAP MLA and Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Lok Insaf Party leader Simarjit Singh Bains accused the Congress of indulging in "booth capturing". The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) charged the ruling party with resorting to "widespread violence and intimidation".

In a statement in Chandigarh, SAD spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema alleged that Congress leaders and legislators led mobs into polling booths to drive out SAD polling agents. Cheema said Congress legislator Bharat Bhushan Ashu allegedly threatened SAD workers and people accompanying him indulged in "bogus voting" in ward number 72. However, Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu refuted the charges, stating that the opposition parties have accepted defeat even before the results are declared.

Ashwani Dhir of BJP was declared elected to the Municipal Council of Jagraon. He defeated his nearest rival from Congress, Madan Lal Bansal, by 792 votes, officials said. Congress candidate Munish Aggarwal defeated SAD-BJP candidate Kavita Bajaj in ward number 2 with a margin of 1,292 votes.

Reports said Congress won the municipal council bypolls in two wards in Kapurthala and Sultanpur Lodhi. In Sultanpur Lodhi, Congress candidate Jatinderjit Singh defeated SAD-BJP candidate by more than 400 votes.

Published Date: Feb 25, 2018 09:40 AM | Updated Date: Feb 25, 2018 09:40 AM

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