This year, the gram panchayat elections witnessed unique trends as contestants had left no stone unturned in wooing voters during campaigning.
Unlike the past trend of distributing liquor and other drugs among villagers, the candidates offered them beverages and sewing machines.
Spending money more than stipulated by the state election commission, candidates were seen spending lakhs of rupees to secure a place in the village panchayat body.
At Chaneri village of Sangrur district, Major Singh, a brick-kiln owner who is in fray for the sarpanch's seat from the village, has offered heavy discount on purchase of bricks.
One of the villagers said that Singh was selling 1,000 bricks for only Rs 2,500 against the normal cost of Rs 4,500 to Rs 5,000. "He has told people that if he wins the election then it would be ok, but if he loses then the discount would not be valid and they would have to make full payments," the villager said.
Besides beverages, candidates were seen distributing mangoes, ceiling fans, packets of chips, clothes and things demanded by the voters.
In a nutshell
Candidates in fray for sarpanch's post: 2,217
Candidates in fray for post of panches: 7,005
Total polling stations: 1,155
Employees on duty: 6,000
Policemen deployed: 4,000