Over 70% turnout in Punjab civic body polls
Chandigarh: Over 70 per cent voting was recorded in the elections to over hundred civic bodies in Punjab on Sunday amid stray incidents of skirmishes at some places.
The Opposition parties accused the Congress of indulging in violence and misusing government machinery, a charge denied by the ruling party.
According to a spokesperson of the Punjab State Election Commission, 71.39 per cent turnout was recorded in the elections, polling for which was held from 8 am to 4 pm.
The highest turnout of 82.99 per cent was recorded in Mansa district while the lowest was in SAS Nagar at 60.08 per cent.
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, AAP and BSP fielded 1,003, 1,606 and 160 candidates, respectively.
The SAD and the BJP fought the elections separately after the former walked out of the National Democratic Alliance over the farm laws issue last year.
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.
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.
In Kapurthala's Sultanpur Lodhi, an Akali worker was injured in a clash with Congress supporters.
The SAD workers alleged that Congress supporters tried to control the polling booth. They alleged that ruling party activists fired in the air.
The incident took place when the voting time was about to be over.