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Posted at: Dec 8, 2017, 1:35 AM; last updated: Dec 8, 2017, 1:35 AM (IST)CIVIC POLLS

Candidates disqualified, Oppn parties up in arms

Say papers of their nominees rejected on flimsy grounds
Candidates disqualified, Oppn parties up in arms
Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal with senior party leaders at a dharna at Harike. Tribune photo

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7

A day after the last date for filing nominations for elections to three municipal corporations and 32 nagar panchayats and councils, the Opposition parties – SAD-BJP and AAP – today alleged that papers of their candidates were rejected on frivolous grounds.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal threatened to launch an agitation against the Congress government’s “excesses”.

Earlier today, State Election Commissioner Jagpal Sandhu had temporarily stopped the scrutiny of nomination papers at Ghanaur, Makhu, Baghapurana and Mallanwala after the Akalis protested over their candidates not being allowed to file papers. He later allowed scrutiny of papers at all places, except Mallanwala.

“In Mallanwala, candidates can file nominations till tomorrow. The scrutiny will be done on Monday. The voting will be held on December 20. In other three local bodies, we could not find substance in the complaints,” Sandhu told The Tribune.

At Mallanwala, Sukhbir said: “Capt Amarinder Singh should tell us if he doesn’t want the Opposition to contest, or if he fears that his government’s unpopularity will make the Congress lose these polls.”

In Khemkaran, Akalis staged a protest after the papers of their eight candidates were rejected (total 13 wards). In Amloh, SAD workers gheraoed the SDM office late in the evening after papers of seven (of 11 candidates in as many wards) were rejected.

AAP MLA Aman Arora, too, alleged that the government machinery was being misused. “At many places today, the papers of our candidates have been rejected on flimsy grounds. In Patiala, where our nominees posed a threat to the ruling party candidates, their papers were rejected. In one case, the ground for rejection was overwriting, which was done after the papers were filed,” he alleged.

Reports gathered by The Tribune revealed that while no Opposition candidate was able to file nominations in Baghapurana, Mallanwala and Makhu, in at least five wards of Rajpura, too, AAP and Akali-BJP candidates could not file papers.

Sukhbir leads dharna in Ferozepur

Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepur, December 7

Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal today demanding the withdrawal of “false” cases registered against party leaders, who were allegedly attacked by Congress workers in Mallanwala yesterday.

“Instead of booking the Congress MLA (Kulbir Singh) and his supporters who attacked our leaders, the police registered a case against SAD leaders,” said Sukhbir during a dharna in front of the SSP’s office here.

He later shifted base to Harike, where the protest was on till the filing of this report. All roads leading to Makhu on the Amritsar-Bathinda stretch were blocked.

Sukhbir said the dharna would continue till a DSP-level officer, an alleged conspirator in the attack on SAD leaders, was suspended and the “guilty” Congress workers arrested. Senior leaders Bikram Singh Majithia and Ranjit Singh Brahmpura were also present.

Kulbir Singh, Congress MLA from Zira, denied the allegations. Bhupinder Singh, SSP, said the police were investigating the matter on merit. Police officials confirmed that a case had already been lodged against five Congress workers.

Meanwhile, the state election commission transferred the Zira DSP and the Mallanwala SHO with immediate effect. The commission also sought a panel of DSPs from the state government for appointment at Zira.

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