Though the district administration and the police have taken steps to ensure a fair and peaceful polling for the civic body polls in the district on Wednesday, yet the Congress has expressed doubts over the security at polling booths and fears that violence may occur.
The administration has declared 19 polling booths as highly sensitive and decided to carry out video-recording of the polling process. It has also decided to deploy a sufficient number of policemen at the sensitive booths. Out of the 19 sensitive booths, 15 are in Mansa, three in Sardulgarh and one in Boha.
"Based on the inputs from the intelligence department, we have declared some of the booths as sensitive. There are some wards where the contest is bipolar and there are chances of a rift among the supporters," said SSP Bhupinder Singh Khattra. Some of these polling booths were declared sensitive during the Lok Sabha election also and this time around the administration claims that it will ensure that fair and violence-free voting takes place.
Meanwhile. Bikramjit Singh Mofar, son of Congress MLA Ajit Inder Singh Mofar, has demanded that proper security arrangements should be ensured at each polling booth.
"We had experienced violence in the previous municipal elections. During the previous elections, the district police assured us that there will be no violence but still shots were openly fired at and we were attacked. We demand that proper security should be ensured at all the booths."
Mofar also alleged that during previous municipal elections booth capturing was a normal phenomenon. Some independent candidates also said that they want their ward and the polling booths concerned be declared sensitive.
"There have been incidents of tearing down of posters in some places. The administration should have maintained security before the elections," said one of the independent candidates.
ADC (D) Harendra Sra clarified that the administration has not received any such request and, moreover, the declaration is not made on the basis of personal requests. "If any polling booth is declared sensitive, it is based on certain investigation and official reports. It is not done on any complains or requests by the candidates."