The first day of polling for district office-bearers in the Punjab Youth Congress was marred by accusations of bogus voting and violence that left party workers injured at Patiala, Jalalabad and Fatehgarh Churian on Tuesday.
The incidents have once again raised question marks on the need for elections, which had been vehemently opposed by a section of the party on the grounds that it would cause friction among workers. The apprehensions had been conveyed to the party high command during the membership drive for the Punjab Youth Congress in January this year.
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The polls, meanwhile, have been suspended at Jalalabad, where three people were injured in clashes on Tuesday.
In Patiala, where veteran Congress leader Capt Amarinder Singh holds sway, four people were injured and 13 were booked on attempt to murder charges after violence disrupted polling for the district president post. Violence was also reported at Fatehgarh Churian which falls under Gurdaspur constituency, the home district of state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa.
The polls are scheduled to be held between July 21and 25. The violence is another setback to the Youth Congress, which had been hit by poor enrollment during its recruitment drive in January. Only 3.5 lakh members had registered as against 10 lakh in 2011, despite the fact that even the membership fee had been reduced from Rs 15 to Rs 5.