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Congress alleges violence by Akalis in Punjab by-poll

Posted on Aug 21 2014 | IANS

Chandigarh, Aug 21 : Violent incidents were reported Thursday from the Talwandi Sabo assembly constituency in Punjab during by-elections for two assembly seats.

The opposition Congress alleged that activists of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal opened fire in Rama Mandi in Talwandi Sabo constituency in Bathinda district.

The Congress also alleged that Akali Dal activists resorted to booth-capturing, intimidation, buying of votes and other illegal means during the polling.

Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa said the Akali Dal workers led a "murderous attack" on Congress candidate from Talwani Sabo, Harminder Singh Jassi, at Rama Mandi.

Bajwa alleged booth-capturing in villages like Dunewal, Jeon Singhwala, Malkana, Giana, Bhagwanpur, some areas of Rama Mandi, Bangi Nihal Singh, Leleana and Shergarh.

Polling for Talwandi Sabo and Patiala assembly constituencies was held Thursday.

Voters queued up to exercise their franchise from early morning. Fifteen candidates are in the fray.

The main contest is between the Akali Dal and the Congress. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which won four seats in the Lok Sabha election in Punjab, is also in the fray.

Former minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur, who lost the Lok Sabha polls, is contesting from Patiala.

The seat was vacated by her husband and former chief minister Amarinder Singh after he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Amritsar.

The by-poll in Talwandi Sabo is being held as Congress legislator Jeet Mohinder Singh quit the party and joined the Akali Dal.

Jeet Mohinder Singh is now the Akali Dal candidate from Talwandi Sabo.

Counting of votes will take place Aug 25.

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