Leading contenders at each other’s throat,EC has hands full at Dakhahttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/leading-contenders-at-each-others-throat-ec-has-hands-full-at-dakha/

Leading contenders at each other’s throat,EC has hands full at Dakha

With the leading contenders filing over 100 complaints against each other and candidates flouting expenditure norms,the Election Commission has its hands full in Dakha constituency.

With the leading contenders filing over 100 complaints against each other and candidates flouting expenditure norms,the Election Commission has its hands full in Dakha constituency. The Congress’ Jassi Khangura and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate Manpreet Ayali seem to have left no chance to accuse each other of poll code violations.

Unlike most other constituencies in the state,party flags and hoardings of candidates are abundant in Dakha. After the first checking by expenditure observers,the returning officer has asked SAD candidate Manpreet Ayali to book an additional amount of Rs 4.34 lakh in the register. Ayali,however,is adamant he will not book a penny. “My advocate will give an appropriate reply to this matter. They are adding more expenditure,” Ayali said.

Laddoos and tea can be seen in almost every one of Ayali’s public meetings. When questioned on this expenditure,Ayali said: “Villagers serve it on their own. I tell them often not to serve anything. The Election Commission can add the expenditure of the laddoos if they want”.

The SAD candidate,however,was presented with Rs 36,000 as election fund but to everyone’s surprise he accepted only Rs 1,100 and returned the rest saying “use the remaining money for village development work”.

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Ayali also leaves no opportunity to attack his opponent and has picked Khangura’s ‘prestigious’ Tru Milk project in Latala village for special attention. “I have made a CD on the loopholes of the project and will be showing it to the masses. He is alluring people by promising jobs and what not,” Ayali said.

The Congress’ Khangura has also come under the EC scanner. He was asked to book an additional expense of Rs 91,000 in the register. Khangura,however,accuses his rival of filing false cases but is confident of victory. “My opponent is distributing free liquor and drugs to allure the voters and is even threatening them,but the mandate will give him an answer”,he said. Campaigning in Saholi and Kandoor,he tells villagers that his party will surely come to power. “ Last time I made you all free from the clutches of the Garchas and now it is the turn to make to you free from Ayali’s atrocities,” he says.

“Ayali has done corruption worth crores in the name of development. He never gave money to needy persons for making toilets and houses and all money was eaten by sarpanches. Pond renovation is also another scam. Rs 170 crore development claims is a farce,” Khangura adds.

He is also banking on the People’s Party of Punjab to split the Akali votes. “Many pockets of this constituency have shifted loyalty from SAD to PPP because of an aggressive campaign by Manpreet ”.