Flays Akalis for desperate attempts to intimidate voters through threats & violence
Chandigarh, December 17, 2017: Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar on Sunday thanked the people and party workers for ensuring smooth and impressive turnout in the Municipal Council and Municipal Committee elections, despite the efforts by the Akalis to scuttle the poll process through threats, violence and rumour mongering in some areas.
The Akalis tried their best to scare the voters away from the booths, especially in areas where the Congress has a strong hold, but failed to intimidate them, said Jakhar, in a statement issued here towards the end of polling. Besides instigating violence here and there, the Akalis indulged in rumour mongering in a desperate effort to keep the voters away, he added.
The preparations made by the Captain Amarinder Singh government ensured that the situation remained under control, said Jakhar, thanking Congress workers for maintaining peace in the face of provocative acts of violence by the opposition.
Pointing out that this was for the first time in a decade that the polls were held in a free and democratic manner, Jakhar said the Akalis, during their 10-year-rule, had brazenly used muscle power to rig the elections. Misuse of the police force to intimidate the voters and the political opponents was common under the Akali regime, said the Punjab Congress president, adding that the SAD was evidently unable to reconcile itself to the fact that it was no longer in power.
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief also thanked the people of Patiala, Jalandhar and Amritsar, for coming out in large numbers to cast their vote and refusing to succumb to threats by the opposition.
With imminent defeat writ large in front of them, the Akalis left no stone unturned to grab votes, by hook or by crook, said Jakhar, adding, however, that the people gave them a befitting reply with their impressive turnout.
With local issues dominating the poll scenario, and the voters having full faith in the governance of Captain Amarinder, the mood was clearly in favour of the Congress throughout the campaign, said Jakhar. The Congress workers too were buoyed by the palpable swing in favour of the party in the run-up to the elections, he further said, and expressed the confidence that with Rahul Gandhi taking over the reins of the party high command, the euphoria in the party would translate into majority votes for it.
While the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had lost its ground completely in Punjab, as in the rest of the country, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had also failed to recover from the shameful rout it had witnessed in the Assembly elections, said Jakhar.