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Polling peaceful in three border constituencies

punjab Updated: May 01, 2014 13:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
minor clashes

Barring a few minor clashes between the Congress and BJP workers, polling passed off peacefully in Amrit sar Lok Sabha constituency on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, state BJP general secretary Tarun Chugh sustained minor injuries in a scuffle that took place in an area near Hindu College.

Around 70% of the 14.40 lakhstrong electorate exercised their franchise in the constituency to decide the fate of 23 candidates in the fray including Arun Jaitley (BJP), Capt Amarinder Singh (Cong) and Dr Daljit Singh (AAP). Post-polling, the EVMs were shifted to well-guarded counting rooms.

The Congress and BJP workers clashed at Putlighar area, Rampur village, Gate Khazana and near the Hindu College. State BJP general secretary Tarun Chugh sustained minor injuries in a clash with Congress councillor Gurinder Singh Rishi and his supporters near Hindu College. Both the sides pelted stones at each other.

“There were minor incidents of violence. On the whole, the elections passed off peacefully as adequate security arrangements were made” said Amritsar police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh.

The polling, which began at a snail’s pace in the morning, gained momentum at around 11.00 am. Long queues of people were seen outside the polling stations. However, there was a decline in the number of voters during the afternoon as the city experienced a maximum temperature of 41.8 degrees.

District election officer (DEO) Ravi Bhagat said that nearly 70% polling was recorded in the constituency. He added that the administration was still in the process of compiling the final figures pertaining to the election.

Expressing satisfaction over the voter turnout, Congress candidate Capt Amarinder Singh said, “We hope to win with a significant margin”. His BJP rival Arun Jaitley too expressed satisfaction at the voter turnout. “The BJP workers’ mood was upbeat. The polling remained by and large peaceful. We hope to win this election”, he said.

Polling Gurdaspur constituency also passed off peacefully barring stray incidents of violence. District electoral officer-cumdeputy commissioner Abhinav Trikha said there was 70 % turnout in the constituency.
In this constituency, state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa, who is seeking re-election, is pityted against threetime Gurdaspur MP and former superstar Vinod Khanna (BJP) and Sucha Singh Chhotepur (Aam Aadmi Party).

Meanwhile, the supporters of the SAD and the Congress clashed at Dult village in Fatehgarh Churian Assembly segment. The clash took place when some Congress workers objected to ‘bogus’ voting being promoted by SAD workers, who then assaulted the Congressmen. The SAD workers were allegedly trying to facilitate a Bihari migrant labourer in casting the vote of another migrant.

Four Congress workers were injured in the clash, who were later admitted to the civil hospital in Batala.
However, Batala SSP Harjinder Singh claimed that one Congress worker, who had recently shifted his loyalty from the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal to the Congress, had started the clash.

Meanwhile, Fatehgarh Churian MLA Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa (Cong) alleged that in 20 villages of his assembly segment, the SAD workers, in connivance with the polling staff, pressed the button of the electronic voting machines in the ruling party’s favour. He alleged that at certain polling booths, the Congress polling agents were not allowed to sit at the polling booths on one or the other excuse. KHADOOR SAHIB: Barring a couple of minor skir mishes between Cong ress and SAD workers, polling in the Khadoor Sahib constituency also passed of f peacefully.

In this constituency, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura (SAD) is pitted against Harminder Singh Gill (Cong) and Bhai Baldeep Singh (AAP).

As per preliminary figures, over 70% of the 14.75 lakh voters exercised their franchise in this largely rural constituency spread over the Majha, Doaba and Malwa regions.

Returning officer-cum-deputy commissioner BS Dhaliwal said, “Except a few minor incidents, the polling was peaceful. The EVMs have been moved to the counting centres, which will be guarded round-the-clock till the counting on May 16”.

Minor skirmishes were reported from a couple of places in the constituency during the day. At Cheema Kalan village, SAD and Cong ress workers clashed following claims and counter-claims of bogus voting. At least four persons received minor injuries in this clash.

Clashes were also reported from Muradpura Mohalla in Tarn Taran town and Toot village near Patti. At both the places, timely intervention by the authorities brought the situation under control.