Chandigarh, 11 December: A joint delegation of SAD-BJP on Monday requested Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore to direct the Congress government to request for paramilitary forces for a “fair” conduct of the upcoming municipal elections. The delegation, which was led by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal and State BJP chief Vijay Sampla, also urged Badnore to issue directions for a judicial inquiry into the “politico-administration-election observer nexus which had throttled democracy in elections to the municipal bodies in Punjab by working to further the cause of the Congress party.”
The leaders said “this nexus had conspired and worked in tandem to harass SAD-BJP candidates at every stage of the election process including denying them no objection certificates and even refusing to accept their nomination papers.” The delegation members told the Governor that they were approaching him because representations to the State Election Commission “did not bear fruit and elections were not countermanded at four places which witnessed widespread violence including shooting at Akali workers besides physical assaults as well as tearing up of nomination papers.”
“An atmosphere of fear has been created in the minds of people and there is a chance of rigging and violence against SAD-BJP workers. In such a situation , only para-military forces can ensure conduct of free and fair elections,” said Badal.
The delegation members including MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Balwinder Singh Bhunder and Prem Singh Chandumajra, also urged the Governor to issue strict instructions to the chief secretary “stating that he will be held personally responsible if officials play a partisan role in favour of the Congress party in the civic elections.” SAD president Sukhbir Badal told mediapersons later that “Congress MLAs and returning officers made a strategy” not to let Akali candidates file papers. “First, no-objection certificates were not given to Akali candidates. Even if NOCs were given, there were cases where fake signatures were put to withdraw nomination papers of Akali candidates,” Sukhbir claimed, citing an instance in Moonak. They said due action should be taken against “officials who had behaved as Congress agents” from the day the election process for the municipal elections started.
Meanwhile, the delegation also urged the Governor to ask the state government why the state Congress chief was issuing statements on behalf of Punjab Police. The delegation said “the manner in which PPCC president Sunil Jakhar had issued statements on police functioning made it clear that the police was not working in an independent manner.”
Source Indian Express