Violence erupts during filing of blockhead nominations in UP, SP alleges misuse of state machinery

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Sitapur/Kannauj (UP), July 8 (PTI) One person was injured in a clash between supporters of rival candidates during the filing of nominations for the election of block panchayat head in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur district on Thursday.

A similar case was reported in Kannauj and SP made allegations of misuse of state machinery by the Bhartiya Janata Party.

Earlier in the day, nominations were filed for the election to the posts of chairperson, who are elected from among appointed members of zila panchayats of districts.

The nomination process for blockhead elections was held in all 19 blocks of Sitapur.

District Magistrate Vishal Bharadwaj said some of the workers opened fire during the filing of nominations for the head of Kasmanda block. The man injured in the incident was referred to Lucknow for treatment, he said.

As of now, four people have been arrested in connection with the case, the DM said.

SP former MLA Mahendra Singh alias Jheen Babu said that his party candidate was prevented by police from filing nomination in the Rampur Mathura block by police on behest of the BJP-led government in the state.

He also staged a protest against the administration and the police in this regard.

In Kannauj district, violence erupted in four blocks – Kannauj, Talgram, Gugrapur and Saurikh.

In the Kannauj block, SP candidate Ajay Dohre and his proposer were allegedly manhandled whereas in Talgram and Gugrapur, there was an exchange of words between workers and supporters of the two parties.

In Saurikh, Nitya Mishra, a local journalist, was attacked. He sustained injuries and his camera got damaged in the incident, police said, adding efforts were on to identify the culprits.

SP MLC Rajpal Kashyap said: 'BJP was using government machinery in favour of its candidates and harassing rivals with the help of police. In the entire state, SP workers were prevented from filing nomination papers by BJP men with the support of police and administration.' In an incident reported in Bulandshahr, supporters of BJP candidate Shikha Tyagi and independent candidate Lalita Chauhan got into a scuffle, prompting the police to resort to lathicharge.

The last date to withdraw the candidature is July 9, as per the State Election Commission's (SEC) July 5 notification.

Voting will be held on July 10 from 11 am to 3 pm, and counting of votes will be done the same day after 3 pm. PTI CORR ABN MGA MGA

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