On the last day of withdrawl of nominations for the May 19 block samiti and zila parishad elections in the state,one block samiti member each from the Congress and Peoples Party of Punjab (PPP) were elected unopposed.
While Congress candidate from Aur in Banga Assembly constituency was elected unopposed on Thursday,the PPP which has tied up with the Congress for the polls too opened its account after its candidate,Kulwinder Singh,was elected unopposed from from Sidhana in Rampura Phul constituency.
Davinder Kaur,Congress candidate from Bharatgarh in Roopnagar,withdrew her name in favour of the SAD candidate and joined the party.
Meanwhile,both Congress and PPP on Thursday accused the ruling Akalis of misusing the official machinery to block and reject nominations of their candidates in several districts
The PPP claimed that some of its candidates had to contest as independents as the returning officers maintained the partys election symbol kite was not in the list. The Election Commission,through a letter,has allotted election symbol number 54,a kite,to PPP. But some officers said it was not present in the chart,forcing some to contest as independents. Moreover,some candidates got late in filing affidavits for nominations as tehsildars who had to give the no-due slips to show clean record on bank loans were not present in office. The nominations of four to five block samiti candidates in Faridkot district were rejected despite the candidates furnishing all necessary documents, the party stated.
PPP president Manpreet Singh Badal said: Despite papers being rejected and the administrative machinery working against us,it goes to our credit that we have been able to field candidates. They (SAD) will now try to capture booths on the day of polling.
Congress spokesman Sukhpal Khaira,while accusing SAD of indulging in malpractices,said there has been no response to complaints made to State Election Commission and returning officers.
In Bholath,an intelligence officer is posted where his wife is a candidate and a naib tehsildar and SHO are posted in the same block under which their villages come. The SAD is exerting pressure to get their candidates elected unopposed by misuse of the government machinery. It is the victory of the opposition that it has been able to field candidates under such blatant misuse of power, he added.
30 elected unopposed to zila parishads,229 to block samitis
As many as 30 candidates,majority from the SAD were elected unopposed to the various zila parishads in Punjab. Another 229 candidates,again mostly from the SAD,were elected unopposed to the various block samitis. Thursday was the last day of withdrawals of nominations for candidates. In the final lists,760 candidates are in fray for zila parishad polls and another 5786 for block samiti polls. The number of candidates left in the fray is almost half of the numbers of nomination papers filed. Most of the unopposed candidates are from Amritsar district where 9 zila parishad candidates have been declared elected. Another 69 block samiti candidates were declared elected. According to sources,majority of these candidates are from SAD.