Ballot papers set afire in Bathinda; protests against Congress
Sixty seven per cent votes were polled for the zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections in Bathinda district on Wednesday amid incidents of alleged booth capturing and minor clashes besides protests against the ruling Congress.
At Dyalpura Mirza village near Rampura Phul, some people ran away with two ballot boxes (one each of zila parishad and panchayat samiti) and set the ballot papers on fire before police arrived.
The district administration ordered re-polling at the booth with the police registering a case against unidentified persons.
The Rampura Phul segment remained the centre of scuffles between Congress and Akali workers.
Punjab power minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar, MLA from Rampura Phul, and former Akali MLA Sikander Singh Maluka were present there.
A clash took place at Dullewala village near Rampura Phul in which a car was damaged. A seven-year-old girl was injured after a car hit her when the driver tried to take a turn to safety from an agitating crowd.
Though, there were reports of firing also, Bathinda SSP denied this. Tension prevailed at Aklia Jalal village also.
At Bangi Ruldu village of Talwandi Sabo block, ballot papers were torn. A scuffle took place between AAP and Congress workers at Behman Kaur Singh Wala and tension prevailed at Joga Wala village also.
Alleging booth capturing by Congress workers by forcing SAD polling agents to leave the polling stations, Maluka along with party workers blocked the road at Salabatpura.
Kangar denied allegations of booth capturing.
The district has 16 zila parishad seats for which both the Congress and the SAD contested with a total of 40 candidates. AAP contested from just two seats.
Of a total of 148 panchayat samiti seats, nominees from four were elected unopposed. There are 40 candidates in the fray for zila parishad while 353 candidates are contesting for 144 panchayat samiti seats.