The polling for local rural bodies in Punjab passed off peacefully on Sunday, barring a few minor incidents. The turnout to elect members for 22 zila parishads and 146 panchayat samitis across 13,110 villages was 65%.
With pre-poll clashes claiming four lives over the last 10 days, the apprehension of violence was high. But state election commissioner SS Brar said, “There was no report of any major untoward incident.”
Mannawalan village in Muktsar district, citadel of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, witnessed the maximum violence, with five vehicles being set ablaze. Reports of booth capturing came in from a few other spots. Later, re-polling was ordered at eight booths, which would be conducted on Monday.
The Congress has repeatedly been demanding the deployment of paramilitary forces for the elections. Two of the dead were Congress cadres, one belonged to the SAD and one to the People’s Party of Punjab.