Sunday, March 16, 2014

Punjab: SAD caught in poll code breach row

The Congress in Punjab has lodged a complaint to the state Election Commission about its decision to allow the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal organise a "political conference" in Anandpur Sahib on March 16.

PCC president Pratap Singh Bajwa, in his complaint to Chief Electoral Officer V. K. Singh on March 10, had asked the CEO to ban the conference as it violates the model code of conduct. Bajwa said the conference venue is close to the famous gurdwara where lakhs of Sikh devotees pay a visit during Hola Mohalla.

A week-long fair, Hola Mohalla usually takes place mid-March beginning on the first day of Sikh New Year. Bajwa contended that the venue, where the Akali Dal is organising the conference on March 16, is the property of the Akali-dominated Shiromani gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC).

Acting on the Congress' complaint, Singh had asked the Deputy Commissioner, Roopnagar, to submit a report on the issue. Sources said the Deputy Commissioner, in his report, has informed Singh that the rally venue is not part of the gurdwara complex, but a part of the SGPC. The report also said that political rallies were also held previously during Hola Mohalla and elections.

"The rally ground is not part of gurdwara complex, but is owned by the SGPC. Rallies were organised at the same venue during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Hence, the permission to organise a rally can be given," the Deputy Commissioner said in its report.

Meanwhile, former chief minister Amarinder Singh accused the CEO of favouring the ruling Akali Dal and not taking any action on the complaints filed by the Congress and other parties. "He should quit his job if he has no moral courage to respond to the ever-increasing pile of complaints," Amarinder has said.

with thanks : India Today : LINK

No comments: