Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa has blamed the state government for "destroying the institution of democracy" in the state.
While addressing a gathering of party workers at Mullanpur Dakha near here on Friday as part of a protest against the alleged framing of three local Congress leaders in a fake case, Bajwa said the SAD-BJP government was undermining the democratic process by conducting the zila parishad and panchayat samiti polls prior to the panchayat polls in the state.
He said panchayats are the basis of the Panchayati Raj system, so the polls for these should be conducted prior to the zila parishad and panchayat samiti polls, but the state government was scared of conducting these polls.
Accusing the state government of resorting to highhandedness for winning the panchayat polls, he said people of the state would teach the government a lesson in these polls.
Later, Bajwa also met the Congress leaders -- Charanjit Singh, Gagan and Gurpreet -- in the jail.
Lambasting the state government for the alleged framing of the local Congress leaders in a fake case, he said party leaders would fight against these atrocities and the party's legal cell would provide free services of counsel to its activists facing "victimisation" at the hands of the police across the state.
On the issue of imposition of wealth tax on agricultural land falling within the municipal limits by the central government, he said the party would not allow this and a delegation of party leaders had already met finance minister P Chidambaram in this regard.
Addressing the protesters, Congress Legislature Party leader Sunil Jakhar said the framing of Congress leaders at Mullanpur Dakha was not an isolated incident but was a matter of concern in every village across the state. The party would fight against this collectively, he added.