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Anticipation,tension builds up in Malerkotla

As on polling day,the police and paramilitary forces are back on roads.

Written by Amrita Chaudhry | Ludhiana |
March 6, 2012 12:22:26 am

Malerkotla,the town which witnessed a highly charged and noisy polling,was once again gearing up for an equally exciting result day. Anticipation building up in this Muslim dominated town was tangible with one-to-one bets being placed in the open and the police and paramilitary force back on the roads — just as it was on January 30,the polling day.

The town,which recorded 91 per cent voter turnout,was waiting for the results with bated breath. The reason: The battle here is not between two Congress and SAD (Badal) but between two IPS officers — retired DGP Izhar Alam and serving ADGP Mohammad Mustafa. Their fronts being represented by wives,SAD’s Farzana Alam and Congress’ Razia Sultana.

While Alam currently in the town amid his supporters,Mustafa — who has been facing the ire of the Election Commission — along with his wife Razia,are in Chandigarh. They are expected to reach Malerkotla by Tuesday afternoon.

According to sources,at a meeting in Bhoomsi Chowk — held a couple of days ago — a Congress ward in-charge had openly announced a bet of Rs 3 lakh. Such bets have become a common feature with Rs 1 lakh being the common denominator. Mohammad Abdul,a resident,said: “We have not seen such a pitched battle for a very long time. The entire town is kind of involved and even 80-year-old grannies seem to have been caught up in the frenzy. I just hope that the day of result passes off peacefully.”

Keeping this in mind,Izhar Alam had reportedly cautioned his workers to stay away from any kind of celebrations or processions on the day of result. “I have been holding meetings with my workers regularly and one such meeting will be held tomorrow as well. The bottom line of that I have asked them to control themselves. If we win,which I am sure we will,there will be no show of strength or celebration of any kind,” he said.

Meanwhile,the college-turned counting centre at Bardwar village near Dhurri has turned into a garrison. Counting for Malerkotla,Amargarh and Dhurri will be held here and Sangrur Deputy Commissioner Kumar Rahul has announced that no party will be allowed to set up their booths near the centre.

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