CHANDIGARH: Clashes and violence marked the polling for the panchayat elections in Punjab on Sunday. A total of 8,913 sarpanch seats and 37,077 panch seats were in the contest.
As many as a dozen incidents of violence were reported from various villages in Patiala. Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders alleged that the Congress and the police were working hand-in-glove to capture booths.
A clash was also reported from a village in Ferozpur. Around 12 unidentified men charged into the polling booth, set the ballot box on fire and crushed a person to death under the car in which they were making their getaway.
A protest was also reported from Duluana village in Gurdaspur district where the name of one of the contesting candidates was missing from the ballot paper. The same thing was reported from Batala Bitewad village in Attari. Reports of firing were reported from a village near Bathinda.
Dr Daljit Singh Cheema from SAD said the polls had been completely hijacked by the ruling Congress and that it amounted to the “murder of democracy”. He lambasted the State Election Commission for failing to hold free and fair elections.
Cheema said Congressmen not only incited violence but also resorted to booth capturing even as the civil administration stood by.