Fresh incidents of violence were reported from Punjab on Thursday in the run-up to the municipal polls in the state as a SAD-BJP conflict turned bloody.
In Batala, four people, including two BJP candidates from wards 5 and 6, were injured critically after an Akali nominee and his supporters allegedly attacked them with sharp-edged weapons.
The incident took place on Wednesday night when armed supporters of former Batala SAD president and Akali nominee Balbir Singh Bittu allegedly attacked BJP candidate Raj Kumar and his supporters.
Another candidate Surjeet Kumar and his team who came to rescue the BJP workers met the same fate and had to flee to save themselves.
The BJP leaders alleged that the police did not do anything to stop the Akalis. District BJP president Suresh Bhatia got there and threatened a protest.
“The Akali goons can’t scare us by these cheap tactics, even if the police are on their side under political pressure,” said Bhatia.
He said though he had called the Batala SSP, the police had taken half an hour to reach 200 metres from the Simble police post.
Demanding action against Akali leader Balbir Singh Bittu and his supporters, he said the BJP would protest against the police in case it failed to take action.
In Moga, fissures between the alliance partners widened further after a senior state BJP leader was allegedly attacked by an Akali candidate and his associates in the municipal elections.
Officially, the Akalis and the BJP have shared the total 50 MC seats in Moga in the ratio 2:1 and they are contesting on 33 and 17 seats, respectively, but many local leaders or their kin from both the parties are contesting the election as independents.
A senior Akali leader and SAD candidate in Ward No 48 of Moga, Kulwinder Singh Chakiyan, was booked for allegedly attacking Kewal Singh Brar, state vice-president of the BJP (education cell).
Kamal Sharma, state BJP president, reached the Moga civil hospital on Thursday to meet Brar.
It is alleged that after the ‘attack’ on the BJP leader, Moga SAD MLA Joginder Pal Jain tried to strike a compromise between the two groups but he failed and the police were to register a criminal case on the complaint of the BJP leader.
However, no arrest had been made so far in this connection.