Punjab civic polls: Turnout 75 %, one shot dead

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Old 10-Jun-2012
Punjab civic polls: Turnout 75 %, one shot dead

Chandigarh June 10:

A youth was shot dead as stray violence on Sunday marred the Municipal Corporation elections in Punjab which witnessed a high voter turnout of nearly 75 per cent.

The polls, the first trial of strength between the ruling SAD and the opposition Congress after the assembly election in January this year, were held for Jalandhar, Patiala, Ludhiana and Amritsar Municipal Corporations. Supporters of SAD and rebel Congress candidates clashed at Bazigar Colony in Ludhiana leaving 38-year-old Banti Bajwa dead, police said.

Bajwa was shot dead in the clash which erupted between supporters of SAD nominee Bajinder Singh and rebel Congress candidate Gurdeep Singh due to some old rivalry, they said. Bajwa's father alleged SAD supporters fired shots at his son from point blank range. Stones were hurled allegedly by some SAD supporters at the vehicle of Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh, police said.

The Congress leader escaped unhurt, they said. Four EVMs were smashed at ward number 47 at Bikram College of Commerce in Patiala, officials said adding in the ensuing scuffle, Congress candidate Rajni Sharma received injuries. An estimated 75 per cent voters exercised their franchise for the four Municipal Corporations, an election official said.

A clash between rival supporters halted polling at a booth in Jalandhar, he said. The polling was held for 50 Patiala Municipal Corporation wards, 75 Ludhiana Municipal wards, 58 Jalandhar wards and 64 wards for the Amritsar Municipal body. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had bagged two Jalandhar Municipal wards and one ward for the Amritsar Municipal body unopposed. The main contest is between the SAD-BJP alliance and the Congress. At present, the BJP controlled the Jalandhar and Amritsar Municipal Corporations and the SAD Ludhiana and Patiala.

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