Only 46% voters cast their franchise in the byelections for two wards of Patiala municipal corporation on Sunday, 14% less in comparison to 2012 municipal polls.
In 2012 civic body elections, the municipal corporation had recorded 60% voting.
Blame it on the India-South Africa World Cup tie or lack of interest among the voters, the polling started on a slow note as only 10% voting was recorded till 10am. In ward number 8, only 41% voters cast their franchise while the percentage (50%) was high in ward number 46.
Though no incident of booth capturing or rigging was reported, tension prevailed throughout the day with the leaders and supporters of both the SAD and the Congress camping outside the booths.
The situation remained sensitive outside booths of the ward number 46. The Congress complained of bogus votes, and supporters of both the parties could be seen exchanging heated arguments on several occasions.
Patiala urban MLA Preneet Kaur, along with their group of Congress councillors, stationed outside the polling booth to keep a tab on bogus votes.
Preneet called senior superintendent of police Gurmeet Singh Chauhan and sub-divisional magistrate Gurpal Singh Chahal several times accusing police of helping the SAD to cast bogus votes.
In Jalandhar, almost 63% voting was recorded during the byelection for municipal corporation ward 49.
The polling ended peacefully at all 10 booths guarded by nearly 200 policemen. The main contest is between BJP’s Rajiv Dhingra and Congress candidate Kamlesh Grover, widow of former councillor Shrawan Grover. All 10 EVMs were moved to the strong room at the office of the district agriculture department for the counting on Thursday (February 26).