The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today accused the ruling Congress of misusing government machinery in Shahkot, where Assembly bypoll is scheduled to be held on May 28, and urged the poll panel to take a serious view of the "violation" of model code of conduct.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today accused the ruling Congress of misusing government machinery in Shahkot, where Assembly bypoll is scheduled to be held on May 28, and urged the poll panel to take a serious view of the “violation” of model code of conduct. It alleged that the state government was putting pressure on SAD workers to vote for the Congress candidate. “The ruling Congress in Punjab is openly misusing government machinery to put pressure on SAD supporters,” party spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema alleged. In a letter to the Election Commission, he claimed that many sarpanches in the Shahkot Assembly Constituency told him that local BDPO’s were threatening them them to either vote for the ruling party or face strict departmental action and registration of false cases by the Vigilance department.
“The presidents and members of different cooperative societies have complained of similar harassment by an officer of the cooperative department,” Cheema said. “Even today, 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 giving any reason while warning him of dire consequences if he failed to support the Congress candidate,” he wrote. Cheema accused state power minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar of camping in the same village to supervise the election campaign of the Congress candidate.
SAD spokesperson also alleged that police officials in that constituency were being pressured to compel their families to support ruling party. “Keeping in view all these factors we want to reiterate that the ECI should immediately take a serious view of all these violations of model code of conduct,” he said, adding, “Since the ruling party is hell bent on rigging the election an independent team may be appointed by the ECI from Delhi to stop it.
Simple deployment of observers will not help.” Cheema demanded that paramilitary forces be deployed immediately throughout the Constituency and videography of all polling booths be conducted. Shahkot bypoll was necessitated following the death of sitting MLA Ajit Singh Kohar.