HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

65% polling, clashes mark rural bodies' elections

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, May 19, 2013
First Published: 18:34 IST(19/5/2013) | Last Updated: 23:44 IST(19/5/2013)

Stray incidents of violence were reported as around 65% voters turned up for polling to the zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections in Punjab on Sunday.

There was no bloodshed even as re-polling was ordered at eight election booths following clashes.

The voters across 13,110 villages cast their vote for 22 zila parishads and 146 panchayat samitis in the state. The polling was held to elect 331 members of zila parishads and 2,902 members of panchayat samitis. The campaigning prior to the elections had witnessed clashes that had claimed four lives.

The polling ended "on a peaceful note amid a few incidents of violence", according to the Punjab State Election Commission. "There were no reports of any major untoward incident from any polling booth," said state election commissioner SS Brar.

The damaged cars following the poll violence at Maan village in Muktsar district on Sunday. Photo: Kulbir Beera/HT

Sunday's clashes included booth-capturing and burning down of five vehicles at Mannawalan village in Lambi block of Muktsar, the home district of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The commission ordered re-polling at six polling stations (eight booths) to be conducted on Monday at Rupana booth 139 (Muktsar), Kothe Maluk Pati booth 85 (Faridkot), Churriwal Chisti booths 92 and 93, Ojhanwali booths 33 and 34, Kanha Ram booth 15 (Fazilka) and Indergarh booth 155 (Moga).

The Congress had repeatedly been demanding the deployment of paramilitary forces for the elections, apprehending highhandedness of the ruling SAD allegedly in connivance with the Punjab Police.

On the other hand, the SAD has been silent on the killings that took place during the campaigning. Two of the four dead were from among the Congress cadres and one each from the SAD and the PPP.
District wise poll percentage of zila parishad and panchayat samiti

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