Chandigarh, Feb 14 (PTI) Polling was held for over hundred civic bodies in Punjab on Sunday amid stray incidents of skirmishes at some places.
According to officials, seven people were injured in Rupnagar after workers of the ruling Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal clashed following a heated argument in Ward No.1 there.
Skirmishes and scuffles between activists of the Congress and the Opposition parties were also reported from Batala, Rajpura, Tarn Taran, Bathinda, Gurdaspur, Samana, Rupnagar, Nabha, Nangal, Mohali and Ferozepur.
Though the final voting percentage is yet to come, over 55 per cent people had voted till 2 pm. The voting began at 8 am and continued till 4 pm, said officials.
A total of 9,222 candidates are in the fray for the elections to 2,302 wards of eight municipal corporations of Abohar, Bathinda Batala, Kapurthala, Mohali, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot and Moga, 109 municipal councils and nagar panchayats.
Of the total candidates, 2,832 are independents, 2,037 from the ruling Congress while 1,569 are SAD nominees. The BJP and the AAP have fielded 1,003 and 1,606 candidates, respectively.
Prominent among those who cast their votes on Sunday were Punjab minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia, AAP MLA Aman Arora and state BJP chief Ashwani Sharma.
The Opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) accused the Congress workers of indulging in booth capturing in Samana, Rajpura, Dhuri, Abohar and Bhikhiwind, a charge denied by the ruling party.
Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema claimed that an AAP volunteer was allegedly shot at in Patti by some Congress activists. However, police rejected the charge.
Cheema alleged that the democracy was 'murdered' in Punjab on Sunday by the Congress and sought resignation of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Talking to the media in Majitha, SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia accused the ruling Congress of “misusing” the government machinery to win the polls.
The State Election Commission (SEC) had set up 4,102 polling stations, of which 1,708 were declared as sensitive and 861 as hypersensitive.
Around 7,000 electronic voting machines (EVMs) were used for voting.
As many as 19,000 police personnel were deployed to ensure free and fair elections, an official said.
Voters were also screened with thermal scanners at polling booths in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The officials said the state has 39,15,280 voters, including 20,49,777 males, 18,65,354 females and 149 transgenders. The counting of votes will take place on February 17. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK