Monday, September 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Violence mars civic bodies poll
Tribune Reporters

A woman being assisted by her son
A woman being assisted by her son in reaching the poll booth at Muktsar on Sunday.
— Tribune photo Kulbir Beera

Clashes between supporters of rival candidates, allegations and counter-allegations by the ruling party and opposition parties about rigging, bogus voting and sale of votes, besides a police lathi charge to disperse SAD and BJP workers in Rayya, marked the civic bodies poll in Punjab today.

At Shivpuri, which falls in Ward No 6 of the Phagwara nagar council, supporters of Mr Inderjit Sonkar, contesting on the SAD-BJP ticket, were beaten up by the police.

In Muktsar, Ms Usha R. Sharma, Deputy Commissioner, has recommended repoll in booth No. 6 of Ward No. 3 after an incident of snatching of ballot papers. 

RAYYA (AMRITSAR): Violence and rigging marred the notified area committee (NAC)election in town even as the police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the Akali and BJP workers who gathered outside the polling booth after the incident.

Dr Baldev Raj Chawla, a former minister, Mr Sat Mahajan, senior BJP leader, and Mr Manjinder Singh Kang, a former Chairman of the Forest Corporation, alleged that at least five Akali workers sustained injuries when the police resorted to lathi charge. They alleged that the SSP (Majitha), Ms Shashi Prabba, the SDM (Baba Bakala) and DSP Ashwani Kumar helped the Congress candidates and workers to indulge in “rigging” the poll. Mr Kang alleged that two polling agents of the SAD were forced to leave the polling stations.

The trouble started when Mr Rajinder Kalia, a senior Congress leader who had won the election unopposed, allegedly entered a polling station immediately after the beginning of the polling. When a polling agent of the SAD objected to the “unauthorised” entry of the Congress leader in the polling station he was beaten up. SAD-BJP workers assembled outside the polling station but were dispersed by the police. The SAD alleged that turbans of many party supporters were tossed in the scuffle. However, Mr Jasbir Singh Dimpa, Congress MLA, refuted the charges of the SAD-BJP workers. Mr Dimpa said the trouble started when Akali workers manhandled Mr Kalia, Mr Kalia claimed that he had entered the polling station a few minutes before the polling.

Among those who were beaten up included Mr Gurinder Paul Singh, a former Chairman of the Market Committee, Mr Major Singh Thathian and Mr Bhupinder Singh. BJP leaders alleged that they had never seen such an election in Punjab where a large scale rigging or violence occurred.

However, Mr Dimpa alleged that the SAD-BJP combine had leveled the charges out of “desperation” as they apprehended humiliating defeat in the election.

The SAD-BJP leader alleged that the SSP threatened of dire consequences when they approached her for justice.

Meanwhile, except for two wards, the polling for the Ajnala committee remained peaceful. However, Dr Baldev Raj Chawla and Mr Satpal Mahajan, both senior BJP leaders, alleged that a large number of bogus voters had cast their votes during the election. They alleged that many under-aged persons (mostly students) succeeded in casting votes.

PHAGWARA: The ruling party had got a comfortable majority in the local Nagar Council poll held on Sunday. The following are the results ward wise.

Ward No. 1 — Surinder Kaur, BSP; Ward No. 2 — Ramesh Jordan, Congress; Ward No. 3 — Sanjiv Bugga, Congress; Ward No. 4 — Jyoti Ghai, Congress; Ward No. 5 — Surinder Singh Shinda, BJP; Ward No. 6 — Inderjit Sonkar, SAD; Ward No. 7 — Hardip Kaur Anand (already declared elected unopposed); Ward No. 8 — Shinderpal, Congress (supported Independent); Ward No. 9 — Sushil Maini, Congress; Ward No. 10 — Sarbjit Kaur, SAD; Ward No. 11 — Ramesh Kaul, BSP; Ward No. 12 (Result awaited); Ward No. 13 — Tripta Dhir, Congress; Ward No. 14 — Iqbal Singh Kundi, SAD; Ward No. 15 — Bira Ram Waljot, BJP; Ward No. 16 — Sita Rani, Congress; Ward No. 17 — Padam Dev Sudhir, Congress; Ward No. 18 — Pawan Sharma, Congress; Ward No. 19 — Kusum Sharma, Congress; Ward No. 20 — Devinder Sapra, Congress; Ward No. 21 — Arun Khosla, BJP; Ward No. 22 — Anita Kaura, Congress; Ward No. 23 — Manmohan Sharma, Congress; Ward No. 24 — Malkiat Singh Ragbotia, Congress; Ward No. 25 — Paramjit Kaur Pahwa, Independent; Ward No. 26 — Hardip Singh Bhamra, Congress; and Ward No. 27 — Brij Bhushan Parbhakar, Congress.

Earlier, of the 26 nagar council wards that went to the polls on Sunday, there was palpable tension in more than half. Clashes took place at booth Nos 33-34 of Ward No 14, 13-14 of Ward No 6, 36 of Ward No 15, Ward Nos 5, 21 and a few others. The police had to use mild force at Ward Nos 14 and 6. Most of the clashes took place when one or the other side objected to bogus voting.

In Shivpuri, which falls in Ward No 6 and from where a migrant, Mr Inderjit Sonkar, is contesting on the SAD-BJP ticket, the police beat up migrants allegedly at the behest of a local Congress leader who, however, denied the charge.

Mr Sonkar alleged that while the bogus voters of the ruling party were allowed to go scot-free, his supporters were beaten by the police.


Clean sweep for Cong

CHANDIGARH: The Congress had a clean sweep in the 13-member Rayya Municipal Committee, with seven elected as unopposed, while it won nine out of 13 seats in Ajnala. In the Phagwara Municipal Council, the Congress won 15 out of 27 seats, with three seats each going to the SAD and its ally, the BJP. The Bahujan Samaj Party candidates won two seats and Independents four.

Three candidates of SAD were declared elected unopposed while one Independent, Veero, won the seat by five votes in Ajnala. UNI

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |