A tip-off that the Election Commission (EC) is set to hold a meeting in Delhi on Friday evening and may announce the Punjab Assembly poll schedule sent the Parkash Singh Badal administration into a tizzy on Thursday.
What topped the worry of the Akali Dal-BJP government governor VP Singh Badnore’s assent to nine populist Bills that the Vidhan Sabha passed in the December 19 special session.
A battery of lower and middle rung officials were dispatched to Raj Bhawan on Thursday to assist the governor’s staff which pointed out certain procedural points.
The Badal administration gave last minutes approvals to a host of decisions such as parking Avtar Singh Kler and Heminder Singh as commissioners in the Right to Service Commission and Avinash Kaur, daughter of a Jalandhar-based Akali Dal leader, in the Human Rights Commission in addition to 30 people in different boards and corporations. They also gave additional charge of the home affairs department to SK Sandhu, principal secretary to the chief minister. With reports of the poll meet doing the rounds, Jagpal Singh Sandhu, additional chief secretary (home) on Thursday joined the state election commissioner position — a post-retirement prime slot for next five years.
“In past Punjab assembly elections, the EC had followed the practice of announcing a poll schedule after holding a meeting during these days of December. All eyes are on the EC meeting scheduled for Friday evening,” a key government official said.