The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) has clarified in the Punjab and Haryana high court that it has the locus standi (right to intervene) to file a petition alleging illegal delimitation of wards (wardbandi) by the Punjab government for the upcoming panchayat elections.
"The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee is the organisation (constituent) representing the Indian National Congress in Punjab," stated the replication filed by the PPCC before the high court on Wednesday. The petition would now come up for hearing on May 8.
The high court had earlier questioned the PPCC's locus standi to file the petition.
In the replication, the PPCC said it was the representative of the Congress in Punjab and a political party recognised by the Election Commission of India.
The division bench comprising acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain had asked the PPCC to make it clear by May 1 whether it was a registered body.
The replication filed on behalf of PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa accused the state government of lacking transparency and of total absence of publicity. The petitioner said the "blanket veil of secrecy cast over the entire process of wardbandi kept not only the voters in the dark but even political parties who play a vital role in the proper functioning of democracy at all levels, from grassroots to the top."