Both SAD, Cong claim victory amid 90% turnout in SAS Nagar
Around 2.8 lakh voters (90%) in SAS Nagar district exercised their franchise in panchayat polls that were held peacefully on Wednesday, barring minor clashes. With results from most villages in the district out by 6pm, both the Shiromani Akali Dal and Congress claimed victory.chandigarh Updated: Jul 04, 2013 10:17 IST
Around 2.8 lakh voters (90%) in SAS Nagar district exercised their franchise in panchayat polls that were held peacefully on Wednesday, barring minor clashes. With results from most villages in the district out by 6pm, both the Shiromani Akali Dal and Congress claimed victory.
Dera Bassi recorded the highest voter turnout with 91.5%, followed by Kharar at 90% and Majri at 80.5%. The administration had set up 444 polling booths across the district.
Enthusiastic voters queued up outside polling booths as polling began at 8am continued till 4pm. As many as 3,355 candidates were in fray for 356 posts of sarpanch and 2,124 posts of panches. As many as 44 of the 356 sarpanch candidates have been elected unopposed, apart from 977 as panches.
Local Congress MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu claimed that candidates backed by the party had won over 70% of the panchayat seats.
Interestingly, senior Akali leader Balwant Singh Ramowalia also claimed that candidates backed by the ruling party had won over 80% seats that "proved that most villagers in the district had reposed faith in SAD".
Though the district administration had made strict security arrangements and deploed around 1,500 policemen, minor clashes were reported from some places. In Bhagomajra village, voting was stopped for about 15 minutes after the ruling party supporters brought along an old woman to cast vote but were stopped by the opposition supporters who alleged that the elderly woman was pressurised to cast her vote.
Meanwhile, a person received head injuries in Nannomajra village after a clash between the supporters of the SAD and Congress. In Badhmajra village in Kharar block, candidates objected after election officials allegedly gave ballot papers with cot symbol imprinted on them to voters. Officials later issued fresh ballot papers.
SAS Nagar deputy commissioner Tejinderpal Singh Sidhu and senior superintendent of police Gurpreet Singh Bhullar visited the polling booths at Government High School, Landran, Lakhnaur and Balongi, and interacted with voters.