Chandigarh, May 14, 2013: Partap Singh Bajwa President of PPCC today met the State Election Commissioner (SEC) S. S. Brar for the second time in month’s time and reiterated his demand for ensuring free and fair Panchayati Raj elections.
Bajwa submitted a memorandum to Brar and told him that despite repeated objections raised by Congress party, the SAD-BJP alliance is adamant to vitiate the democratic process. He said that SEC had a greater responsibility to uphold the sanctity of constitution and ensure free and fair Panchayat elections.
PPCC President said that SAD-BJP government was blatantly misusing the local administration and Police across the state to coerce and intimidate the Congress candidates and further threatening them with registration of criminal cases against them in case they do not withdraw from the contest.
Bajwa said that he had met the SEC along with senior party leaders on April 24 last and demanded to prevent SAD-BJP government from hijacking the election process. He said that names of Congress supporters were struck off from voter lists and arbitrary changes were made in the area of Block Samiti and Zila Parishad Zones to benefit the ruling party candidates.
Bajwa in memorandum stated, “The PPCC is constrained to submit this memorandum to ensure, that an atmosphere is created for the state electorate to participate in these grass root level elections without fear, fervor and intimidation", the memorandum read.
The memorandum further stated, "These elections will completely shatter the democratic fabric in the state and throw the Panchayati Raj institutions before power grabbers through illegitimate and illegal manner".
Bajwa demanded deployment of Central Para Military Forces at all the Polling Stations, to avoid any kind of booth capturing, intimidation by the SAD-BJP supporters. He cited the case of West Bengal SEC which had approached the Kolkata High Court that the rural elections in West Bengal should be held in 3 phases and under the Central Para Military forces, which has been upheld by the High Court.
Bajwa also brought to the notice of SEC about failure of Punjab Police in depositing the arms from SAD supporters. He said that only 50 percent arms were deposited. This is one major reason of killing of Punjab Youth Congress leader of Patti Sukhraj Singh Bhagupur and attack on Congress MLA from Guru Harsahai Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi.
It also demanded that no officer either on contractual duty or re-employed be given any important election duty, such as Returning Officer, Presiding Officer or assisting any electoral duty, as they are neither accountable nor answerable to any process of law.
Bajwa was accompanied by Rakesh Pandey and Bharat Bhushan Ashu both MLAs, Naseeb Singh Gill Ex Deputy Speaker, Ram Pal Dhaipi Ex General Secretary PPCC, Advocate Inder Pal Singh Dhanna, Prof. Gurwinder Singh Mamnke and Gurinder Singh Bali