Flurry of hostellers casting vote raises eyebrows
Even though the city administration claimed of having peaceful voting with no complaints of bogus voting by the presiding officers, several incidents of violence and atleast a dozen cases of bogus voting came to light from across different polling booths in the city.chandigarh Updated: Feb 23, 2015 11:48 IST
Even though the city administration claimed of having peaceful voting with no complaints of bogus voting by the presiding officers, several incidents of violence and atleast a dozen cases of bogus voting came to light from across different polling booths in the city.
In one such incident, contestants from ward number 41 were in for a surprise after they saw the name of 300 girl students of a private college, Rattan Professional College, in the voter list.
The candidates alleged that all these girls were hostellers and questioned their right to vote in the city.
Independent candidate Sucha Singh Kalaur gave a written complaint to DC-cum-election officer Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu. “I have demanded address proof of all these voters. If these voters cast their votes in favour of a candidate, the whole equation will change. There has to be some motive of 300 hostellers getting their voter card made.”
Refuting allegations, college owner Sunder Pal Aggarwal said, “I have given an undertaking for these students that they are residents of our college. What is wrong if they cast their vote here.”
Another serious fight was reported from Phase 2, ward number 12, where it was alleged that a voter was accused of bogus voting and was beaten up by Shrimoni Akali Dal (SAD) supporters. Most of the allegations were raised against SAD. However, refuting allegations, SAD observer Mahesh Inder Grewal said, “These allegations are baseless. People have voted fearlessly and fairly in favour of SAD and results will be definitely in our favour.”
Meanwhile, another SAD candidate Haram Preer Singh Prince, contesting from ward No. 15, was in news all throughout the day. It was independent candidate Major General (retd) JS Grewal who stood tall and did not allow anyone to interfere with the voting business inside the polling booth.
“SAD leader Balwant Ramoowalia was here, but we didn’t allow him inside the polling station. We have been vigilant and have tried our best that no one is able to cast bogus vote even though many tried the same”.
Another incident of bogus voting was reported from ward number 4, where it was alleged that voters were trying to cast votes for SAD candidate. Earlier in the day, a voter in ward number12 was allegedly beaten up by SAD supporters. His parents later raised slogans against SAD senior leader Balwant Singh Ramoowalia.
Interestingly while both the local Congress MLAs Balbir Sidhu and Kulwant Singh, who had formed the ‘aazad’ group were not seen anywhere, it was only Ramoowalia and his daughter Amanjot who could be seen making rounds of different polling booths.
Meanwhile, the police did not make any arrests in any of the allegations. Talking to HT, SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said, “The presiding officer has to give in writing about bogus voting, but we have not received any complaint. No case has been registered regarding elections.”
First Published: Feb 23, 2015 11:46 IST