Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh has termed the civic body elections in Patiala as "the murder of democracy by the ruling alliance". Amarinder alleged that the ruling SAD-BJP alliance indulged in mass booth capturing in all the municipal wards across the city.
He asked that if chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was so desperate to capture Patiala, why did he conduct elections in the first place.
"The ruling alliance has reduced the municipal corporation elections to a mere farce," said the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president.
"When they had already decided to capture the booths and not allow anybody to cast his vote, what was the purpose of holding these elections?" he asked.
Amarinder said that Badal can forcibly capture the Patiala MC house, but he can never win it over. "No matter how much power and force they use, the people of Patiala would not vote for them. They have time and again proved it as was seen in the assembly and parliamentary elections when the elections were held under the neutral control of the Election Commission of India."
Amarinder said that masked youths with support from the police, and under the guidance and patronage of the local maverick Akali leader Prem Singh Chandumajra, were freely roaming all over the city capturing booths and preventing people from voting. He said they did not even spare the media persons as two photojournalists of the leading daily newspapers were injured in the attacks.
He alleged that the policemen watched as mute spectators while the booths were being captured, and in certain case they only facilitated it.
Amarinder said that all the cameras installed on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court were smashed or damaged to ensure that nothing got recorded. "This defeated the very purpose of recording the elections," he said.
He said the entire exercise was pre-planned as the Akalis came covering their faces. He also said the fears of the local Congress leaders were vindicated on Sunday.