While the People's party of Punjab (PPP) organised a dharna to protest against the alleged poll violence during the panchayat elections in the Malwa region on Friday, Congress workers' wait for their state leadership to chalk out a protest programme -- as around 150 party workers were booked in Lambi -- may be over as Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Partap Singh Bajwa is likely to visit Maan village on May 27.
As a gesture of protest, the Lambi Congress headed by Mahesh Inder Singh Badal had held a dharna at the Lambi police station on May 20 to protest against cases registered against the Congress workers. It was announced at the dharna that state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa would visit Maan village on May 23. However, there is no political activity from the party on this front so far.
Poll-related violence at Mann village on May 19 forced male members of the most of the Congress workers' families to leave their homes to escape the arrest. However, regional and state leadership of the Opposition party is yet to visit the village where Section 144 has been imposed by the Muktsar police for last five days.
The state Congress had issued formal statements over the alleged attempt of the Shiromani Akali Dal's men to capture the booth at Maan village after which nine vehicles were damaged and Muktsar police registered booked the Congress workers for their alleged role in poll violence.
Maan village was not the only case of alleged poll violence in Malwa. Earlier, a Congress candidate's son was injured in firing at Adampur village in which one worker of PPP had died and the party candidate, Lakhvir Singh Lakha Sidhana, was injured. Muktsar district Congress president Gurdas Girdhar had claimed that he had received complaints of booth capturing from 20 villages of the Lambi constituency.
Meanwhile, taking the advantage of silence of Congress leadership, PPP chief Manpreet Badal had struck an emotional chord with the Congress supporters of Maan village and asked chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to apologise to the entire village. Put off at the last moment, his call for a dharna at Maan village on Friday was the first any such call of protest.
Former Congress MLA from Rampura Phul, Gurpreet Singh Kangar was appointed as Congress vice-president of Malwa zone recently, but he has not paid a visit to the village. When contacted, Kangar said, "Partap Singh Bajwa will visit the village very soon and will meet the aggrieved families. He may visit on May 27. He will meet the family members of each person who is booked by police." If Bajwa comes on May 27, it would be his second visit to the heart of Malwa after becoming PPCC president.