Congress-Akali clashes in Punjab civic polls

Express News Service
CHANDIGARH: Polling in more than 100 civic bodies in Punjab took place on Sunday. Although there were no major incidents, there were reports of skirmishes between workers of Congress and other parties.At least seven people were injured as Congress and Akali Dal workers clashed in Ropar following heated exchanges in Ward No 1.

In another incident, former senior vice-president of Muktsar municipal council Yadwinder Singh Yadu, who is a Congress candidate from Ward No 4, and his supporter Sudhir Sharma were injured in a clash between the Akalis and Congressmen at Kotkapura Road. Yadu received six stitches and was admitted to hospital.

Incidents of scuffles between Congress, Akali Dal and AAP were also reported from Bathinda, Tarn Taran, Nabha, Gurdaspur, Batala, Rajpura, Samana, Nangal, Mohali and Ferozepur. Kisan Sangharsh Committee is keeping a check on all 12 polling booths in Ward No 37 in Amritsar, so that BJP cannot set up help desks outside the booths.

Both Akali Dal and AAP accused Congress of booth capturing at Rajpura, Dhuri, Abohar, Samana and Bhikhiwind but the ruling party denied these allegations. Demanding the resignation of the CM, Leader of Opposition and AAP leader Harpal Singh Cheema said that democracy has been murdered in Punjab. He claimed that an AAP volunteer was shot at in Patti by Congress activists.

The police rejected this charge. Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia alleged that Congress misused government machinery to win these polls. A total of 9,222 candidates are in the fray in 2,302 wards of the eight municipal corporations of Bathinda, Mohali, Batala, Kapurthala, Abohar, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot and Moga and 109 municipal councils and nagar panchayats in the state. Of these candidates, 2,832 are contesting as independents. Counting will take place on February 17.