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Chandigarh mayoral polls: AAP members on hunger strike removed by police

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NewsDrum Desk
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Chandigarh, Feb 5 (PTI) AAP councillors got into an argument with police after they were barred from entering the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation office on Monday on the second day of the party's protest against the BJP over "rigging" in the recent mayoral polls.

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Five AAP workers, including a councillor, who sat on a hunger strike outside the municipal corporation office were also removed by the police. The police later detained all the protesters who had gathered at the site.

The AAP councillors, led by Sunny Ahluwalia -- the party's Chandigarh co-incharge -- raised slogans against the BJP and demanded action on the presiding officer for allegedly "tampering" with the ballot papers during the mayoral polls.

The AAP councillors who tried to enter the municipal corporation office were barred from entry by the police personnel deployed on the premises, following which they got into an argument with them.

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"We have every right to enter the municipal corporation office," said Prem Lata, an AAP councillor.

A large police contingent was deployed and barricades were erected outside the office.

Ahluwalia had earlier said that from Sunday, five AAP members -- one leader and four councillors -- would observe a hunger strike. Another five members would sit on a hunger strike the following day.

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"This relay hunger strike is against the 'vote chor (vote thief)' BJP and to save our democracy," he had said.

The protesters on hunger strike on Monday, however, were removed by the police.

The BJP on January 30 swept the Chandigarh mayoral polls against the Congress-AAP alliance.

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Manoj Sonkar of the BJP had defeated the AAP's Kuldeep Kumar for the mayor's post, polling 16 votes against his rival's 12. Eight votes were declared invalid.

The opposition councillors alleged that the presiding officer had tampered with the ballot papers, a charge rubbished by the BJP.

The AAP moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court and sought fresh elections under the supervision of a retired judge but the court refused to grant any interim relief.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday an AAP councillor's plea challenging the high court order. PTI CHS VSD SZM

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