Even as polling for four municipal corporations of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala on Sunday was marred by many incidents of booth-capturing and violence, the Punjab election commission said it was "peaceful barring some stray incidents".
"As per report received here, elections went off peacefully. Let me check in case anything serious has happened," said Election Commissioner Shivinder Singh Brar. "How can I say what has not happened?" he posed a counter-question when asked about violent incidents.
Reports reaching here said a former sarpanch was killed in poll- related violence after a supporter of SAD candidate in Ludhiana opened fire. Interestingly, the state election commission was still to get the news of any casualty during the day. "No one has been killed," Brar curtly replied when asked about the incident.
A total of 250 wards of municipal corporations in Amritsar (65), Jalandhar (60), Patiala (50) and Ludhiana (75) went to polls on Sunday.
During polling, opposition Congress alleged that ruling SAD-BJP alliance supporters had hijacked the elections by resorting to booth-capturing and indulging in violence.
When asked about violence against Congress party workers, Brar said he had received report that they had broken electronic voting machine in one of the booths in Patiala.
"In case something serious has happened, I would certainly get report from the field and act on it. I can even order fresh polling in case it is proved that something really has gone wrong," he asserted.
On Friday, opposition Congress leaders met Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil and raised apprehensions about a repeat of violence during the civic body polls on Thursday to browbeat their candidates and supporters.
The move seemed another political ploy on part of the opposition party, but their apprehensions of violence have proved correct on Sunday.