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Akali factions contest against each other

punjab Updated: Jul 01, 2013 22:37 IST
Raghbir Singh Brar
Raghbir Singh Brar
Hindustan Times
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It is Akali versus Akali in the panchayat elections as in many villages the contest is between the candidates of two Akali factions.

This rivalry also led to a violent clash in a Faridkot village on Friday night in which 12 people were injured.

Development as an issue has taken a backseat ass liquor is flowing freely in villages as candidates woo the electorate.

"Development is not an issue in the elections. Serving liquor has become common. The general category people who otherwise do not receive any other grants, are interested in consuming free liquor during elections," says Balwinder Singh of Aulakh village.

"In my village, the sarpanch has been elected unopposed. Candidates for the post of panchayat members are using liquor to woo voters," he says.

"But it is difficult to stay away from the practice as those doing so have to suffer the loss of support," Balwinder says.

"My brother has taken the wrong decision to contest for the panch as the voters consume a box of liquor daily," says a labourer from Bir Sikhan Wala village.

Darshan Singh, former sarpanch of Dhilwan Kalan village, says, "We are contesting the election for the post of sarpanch on the issue of development as the village has not seen the desired development in the last term."

Darshan Singh and others are canvassing for Mangal Singh Brar who, he claims, is being supported by the Congress. On the other side is Mantar Singh Sodhi, husband of the former sarpanch of the village and an Akali leader.

"Both the candidates belonged to an Akali group earlier; then, they shifted their loyalities after the delimitation. Liquor is being served but money is not being used to buy votes," claims a local.

Darshan Singh admits that the candidates in his village are serving liquor to woo voters.
"There are three candidates for the post of sarpanch at Kothe Theh Wale village and all of them are being supported by the SAD. Free liquor, soft drinks and food are being served to the voters," says a youth from the village.

Panjgrain Kalan, one of the largest villages in the district, will elect three panchayats this year where earlier there was only one. In Dashmesh Nagar of the village, there is a cutthroat competition between two SAD supporters."

The post of sarpanch is reserved for women and Virpal Kaur Gill and Kulvir Kaur Gill, both with the support of SAD, are contesting. Some old SAD workers and even Congress workers have also thrown their weight behind one of them. Liquor is allegedly being served in plenty to woo voters," sources claim.

In Aulakh village, the nominations of candidates supported by a former minister were rejected under alleged political pressure as the candidate who has now been elected unopposed is supported by an influential SAD leader.


Akali versus Akali in the panchayat elections as in many villages the contest is between the candidates of two Akali factions.

This rivalry also led to a violent clash in a Faridkot village on Friday night in which 12 people were injured.

Development as an issue has taken a backseat ass liquor is flowing freely in villages as candidates woo the electorate.