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Candidates disqualified, Oppn parties up in arms

Chandigarh, December 8: A day after the last date for filing nominations for elections to three municipal corporations and 32 nagar panchayats and councils, the Opposition parties – SAD-BJP and AAP – on Thursady alleged that papers of their candidates were rejected on frivolous grounds.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal threatened to launch an agitation against the Congress government’s “excesses”.
Earlier today, State Election Commissioner Jagpal Sandhu had temporarily stopped the scrutiny of nomination papers at Ghanaur, Makhu, Baghapurana and Mallanwala after the Akalis protested over their candidates not being allowed to file papers. He later allowed scrutiny of papers at all places, except Mallanwala.

“In Mallanwala, candidates can file nominations till tomorrow. The scrutiny will be done on Monday. The voting will be held on December 20. In other three local bodies, we could not find substance in the complaints,” Sandhu told The Tribune.
At Mallanwala, Sukhbir said: “Capt Amarinder Singh should tell us if he doesn’t want the Opposition to contest, or if he fears that his government’s unpopularity will make the Congress lose these polls.”

In Khemkaran, Akalis staged a protest after the papers of their eight candidates were rejected (total 13 wards). In Amloh, SAD workers gheraoed the SDM office late in the evening after papers of seven (of 11 candidates in as many wards) were rejected.

AAP MLA Aman Arora, too, alleged that the government machinery was being misused. “At many places today, the papers of our candidates have been rejected on flimsy grounds. In Patiala, where our nominees posed a threat to the ruling party candidates, their papers were rejected. In one case, the ground for rejection was overwriting, which was done after the papers were filed,” he alleged.

Reports gathered by The Tribune revealed that while no Opposition candidate was able to file nominations in Baghapurana, Mallanwala and Makhu, in at least five wards of Rajpura, too, AAP and Akali-BJP candidates could not file papers.
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