85% polling, violence in more than 20 places

LudhianaAn old lady leaves a polling booth after casting her vote at Lalton Khurd on Wednesday. Gurmeet singh

Even as cases of violence were reported from more than 20 places, Ludhiana registered more than 85 per cent polling in the panchayat elections on Wednesday. Among the prominent contenders, Sherjung Singh Dhillon — the elder brother of Punjab Cabinet Minister Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon — won after securing 202 votes in Bhagpur village; the village has only 500 voters.

The Congress, however, alleged that re-counting was being done at places where its candidates were winning. At Dheri village, Congress constituency incharge Pehalwaan Singh alleged that party candidate was winning but after a re-count, he lost by a mere three votes. SAD leader Sehajpreet Singh Mangat, however, said that Pehalwaan Singh had come in that area as an outsider and later police was called to control the situation.

At Phullanwal village, Congress supported candidate Joginder Singh said he was beaten up last night and claimed to have sustained a head injury. He alleged that SAD leaders were behind the incident.

In Rahuwal village, district Congress (rural) president Malkiat Singh Dakha alleged that party candidate was made to lose by 13 votes after repeated re-counts and rejection of votes. District Congress committee president Pawan Dewan accused the Akalis of high-handedness .

SAD leaders, however, stated the Opposition Congress was making such comments after losing from a majority of the seats.

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