On a petition filed by Rajesh Kumar, brother of Punjab cabinet minister Anil Joshi, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed the district electoral officer, Tarn Taran, to permit private videography in two wards during the civic body polls on Wednesday.
Kumar and another local BJP leader, Navreet Singh Shaffipur, had moved the court, seeking its nod for private videography and directions to the authorities to appoint observers to oversee the polling and top police officials for free and fair polls on February 25 in the municipal council elections in Tarn Taran.
During the hearing on Tuesday, the state electoral office and the government counsel informed the court that the petitioners' demand for appointing independent observers, senior police officials and providing security had already been acceded to by the authorities. The counsel said deputy commissioners had been directed to allow private videography, if requested by the parties concerned.
To this, the court directed the district electoral officer, Tarn Taran, to permit the petitioners to conduct private videopgrahy outside the booths in the wards requested for by them.
Kumar and Tarn Taran district BJP chief Shaffipur had alleged that they feared intimidation of voters and booth capturing by local Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders. Hence, they be allowed to carry out private videography on the polling day (February 25) in ward number 15, from where Kumar is contesting, and ward number 5, from where Shaffipur is a voter.
The petitioner's lawyer, NK Banka, had submitted that though the BJP and the SAD were in alliance,
there was intense political rivalry between workers of both parties and BJP leaders feared that local SAD leaders would make efforts to defeat Kumar, while referring to the alleged attack on him on February 10 at the local subdivisional magistrate's (SDM's) office.