Election 2019

SAD demands to deploy high powered ECI task force in Shahkot

May 20, 2018 10:03 PM

Punjab News Express
CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal today demanded the deployment of  an independent team directly from the Election Commission of India to function as high-powered task force and stop the ruling party in Punjab from “elaborate and widespread rigging’ of the by-poll for the Shahkot assembly constituency scheduled  for May 28.      

“Mere appointment of an election observer will not suffice in view of the obvious nefarious designs of the ruling party which is hell bent on rigging poll,” said Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema, Senior Vice President of the party in a detailed and urgent communication to the Chief Election Commissioner of India.

In another major demand, the SAD has also demanded a complete and comprehensive videography of the entire voting process at every polling booth on May 28.

In his detailed letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, with identical copy marked to the Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab,  Dr Cheema alleged that the state  machinery, including the state bureaucracy and the police, are functioning virtually like the Congress party’s  electioneering team. He expressed his party’s grave and legitimate fears that the state govt would not allow a free and fair election.     

In view of this , said Dr Cheema, the party  has demanded  the “immediate deployment of para-military forces in the entire constituency. If that is not done immediately, the state  government will “manage” the officials of its choice for deployment as polling parties to work for the promotion of the ruling party’s interests.”

The party has also demanded that polling parties of the ECI may be appointed direct by the Commission. Otherwise, the state government would be able to manage the officials of their choice for deployment as polling parties, said Dr Cheema.

Dr Cheema also urged the ECI to immediately issue strict “directions to the Chief Secretary, Punjab, asking him to warn all the senior officers of the Govt. against  indulging  in such activities which may hamper the conduct of free and fair election.  

In its complaint  to the ECI, the SAD alleged that the services of different departments especially the Dept. of   Rural Development and Panchayat, Co-operation deptt., Power deptt., Food and Civil Supplies deptt. and the Police   are being taken by the Congress to put illegal and illegitimate pressure on the voters.

Dr Cheema alleged that  “ the local BDPO’s are being pressurized to work for  the success of ruling party’s candidate Hardev Singh Lalli or “face dire consequences  including strict departmental action including  registration of false cases by the Vigilance.” The Presidents and Members of different Co-operative societies have  complained of similar harassment by the officer of Co-operative department.

Dr Cheema gave specific instances to show how power and the state machinery was being grossly misused. "Eeven today ( Sunday) a team of electricity department raided the house of our Sarpanch Sohan Singh of Village Mulewal Khehra in Shahkot Assembly Constituency after he refused to join Congress party. The raiding party disconnected the power supply of the house and took away the old meter without any valid reason. They further warned  “him of dire consequences if he did not  support  the Congress party candidate. In addition they also took away   the old electricity meters of his two brothers namely S. Manmohan Singh and S. Darbara Singh. The Sarpanch also received threatening        calls   from anonymous caller after the raiding team left the vigilance.      “

Dr Cheema said that the State Power Minister Mr. Gurpreet Singh Kangar is himself camping in the same village to supervise the illegitimate operations in the ruling party’s election campaign.

Dr Cheema further said that police officials belonging to this constituency “are being pressurized to compel their families to support ruling party.  Even services of police officials who had previously served in this Constituency are being taken forcing them to function as  Congress Workers to influence the voters, said the SAD Senior Vice President.

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