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Punjab assembly by-poll postponed to June 12

National,Politics,Religion, Tue, 26 May 2009 IANS

Chandigarh, May 26 (IANS) The by-election for Punjab's Nurmahal assembly seat, which was to be held Thursday, has now been postponed to June 12 following widespread violence in the state, the Election Commission announced Tuesday.


All the political parties had sent a request to the poll panel to postpone the election in the wake of the unrest in the state, particularly in Jalandhar district, under which Nurmahal falls, in the aftermath of a bloody clash in a gurdwara in Austrian capital Vienna Sunday.



'We had written to the Election Commission of India yesterday (Monday). Today we have got their notification and now the elections would be held on June 12,' Kusumjit Sidhu, chief election commissioner of Punjab, told IANS.



Nurmahal town is around 200 km from here. The assembly seat has been lying vacant for the last five months after the death of Akali Dal legislator Gurdeep Singh Bhullar, 50, in December last year.



'All the parties are in the favour of postponing the Nurmahal elections till the situation becomes normal in the state,' Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal told reporters here.



Curfew was imposed Monday in several Punjab towns, including Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur and Phagwara, after widespread violence by followers of the Dera Sachh Khand sect who protested against the attack on religious leaders in a gurdwara in Vienna Sunday.



Two top leaders of the Dera Sachh Khand sect, who are followers of Guru Ravidass and belong to the Dalit Sikh community, were attacked with knives and firearms in the Vienna gurdwara.



While sect head Niranjan Dass was recovering in a hospital, his second in command, Sant Rama Nand Dass, died from gunshot wounds. The attack left at least 15 people injured.


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