A day before polls, returning officers were flooded with complaints regarding distribution of money and liquor in various parts of the state.
In Sunam in Sangrur district on Tuesday, Congress candidate Vijay Inder Singla even staged a dharna against SAD’s Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa for alleged money distribution. Complaints have also come in from Bathinda and Faridkot.
Police lodged an FIR against some people who were found with cash in Sunam, but their party affiliation was not known. In Bathinda, Rs 20 lakh cash was found yesterday and the IT department was verifying the claims of the accused, who said he was going to deposit the cash in a bank.
In Bathinda, Congress-PPP-CPI candidate Manpreet Singh Badal filed a complaint against police officers to the ECI saying they were being used by SAD to woo voters with money and liquor.
AAP candidate Jasraj Longia complained that police had removed nakas from various parts of the district to facilitate free movement of outsiders with money and liquor. DC Bathinda Kamal Kishor Yadav confirmed the complaints received from various candidates. He said, “AAP submitted a complaint that liquor distribution was done in Paras Ram colony in Bathinda urban, but we did not find any truth in the complaint. Many other fake complaints were also received. Our phones are ringing all the time with complaints.” He added that no naka was found missing and he along with the SSP were patrolling the area.
Meanwhile, Longia said that villagers were being threatened against voting for AAP. He said that AAP had formed special squads to assist the district administration in catching such elements.
Reports of liquor, cash offers for Doaba voters
Jalandhar: Despite sealing of liquor vends and godowns, reports have been coming from from various Assembly constituencies in Doaba region that people associated with political parties are trying to woo voters with cash, liquor and household items.
In was learnt that in some villages near Jalandhar, village panchyats have been asked to identify voters who can be won over by money or liquor.
“Some people have been asking about our requirements for the past few days and indicating that they can fulfil the requirements if we vote for the person they want,” said a woman of Sarihn village. Women in Lambra and Khmabra said that their husbands would get cash and liquor if they promised their vote to such agents.
In Dakoha village, Rs 1000-1,500 is offered per vote. Asked how political leaders would know whether they voted as promised, the villagers said were asked to swear in the name of their children.
An agent of a candidate in Mehatpur said that the real poll expense is for cash and liquor. Colonies of the poor and daily wagers are targeted by the leaders’ agents in Jalandhar city and rural areas, he added. In Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur, over Rs 15 crore worth of liquor has already been seized before this election.