On the instructions of the Election Commission, the Punjab government has withdrawn 900 personnel providing security to chairmen and vice-chairmen of various state-owned boards and corporations, and also their decision making power.
“After a security review, we have withdrawn 900 gunmen who were providing security to chairmen of boards and corporations,” Punjab Additional Director General of Police V K Bhawra said on Wednesday.
Bhawra, who is a nodal officer for the state Assembly elections, said a security review of about 400 people was undertaken and a decision was taken to withdraw 900 security guards attached with them.
He said those given Z plus, Z, X and Y security cover were not part of the review.
A total of 1,300 men were guarding them before the decision. Earlier, 300 gunmen were withdrawn by the police, the ADGP said, adding some candidates, including those of AAP, have refused to take security cover.
“Some candidates were not taking security cover. They have voluntarily refused to take security cover. Among them are some AAP candidates,” Bhawra said.
Police provides three security personnel to candidate of a recognised political party and two to those of other parties.
Punjab Chief Electoral Officer V K Singh said on the directions of the Election Commission, the state government has withdrawn the executive functioning power from political persons who were appointed as chairman and vice chairmen of boards and corporations.
“The government has ordered that those political appointees who were given the charge of chairmen and vice-chairmen should stop performing executive functions. The job is now being done by administrative secretaries of respective departments. The decision was taken on the directions of the Election Commission,” Singh said.
Notably, just before the code of conduct came into force, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal appointed “party loyals” to various positions in boards and corporations.