The Election Commission of India (ECI) has served show-cause notices on Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal and Jalandhar (rural) SAD president Ajit Singh Kohar for violations of the model code of conduct by party workers during a rally at Sarinh village in Nakodar, near here, on Monday. Hindustan Times had published a report, ‘School buses ferry Akali workers at CM’s rally’ (December 27), highlighting the violations committed by the ruling party during the rally.
District election officer (DEO) Priyank Bharti and Nakodar returning officer (RO) Sumeet Kumar said notices were issued to Sukhbir, Kohar and the SAD’s Nakodar candidate Gurpartap Singh Wadala for poll code violations. They have been told to submit replies within 24 hours.
The notices stated that the party erected hoardings at public places and on public property in violation of the Punjab Prevention of Defacement of Public Properties Act. Besides, the RO has instructed the Nakodar market committee to evaluate charges and penalty from the SAD for not depositing requisite fee with the competent authority in advance.
On the plying of more than 50 school and college buses for ferrying workers to the rally venue, the RO said the video evidence was being examined and a notice would be issued soon to the educational institutions concerned.
On the distribution of the SAD-BJP government’s booklets, published by the information and public relations department, Punjab, during the rally, the RO said an inquiry was being conducted to ascertain the facts, as per the DEO’s orders.
Meanwhile, Jalandhar (north) returning officer Karnail Singh served a notice on the BJP for holding a meeting at Sheetla Mata Mandir on Sunday evening. “The BJP has been asked to submit a reply in 48 hours. Besides, assistant returning officer Mohinder Singh has been deputed to visit the venue to ascertain the facts and submit a report separately, even as appropriate action will be taken as per ECI instructions,” he said.
Jalandhar (central) returning officer Iqbal Singh Sandhu has served notices on Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) president Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary, vice-president Sukhpal Bhullar (son of former minister Gurchet Singh Bhullar), Congress leaders Seth Satpal Mal and Guri Bhattal, and Gagandeep Singh Kaku, Jalandhar Lok Sabha Congress president, for defacing public property with promotional posters. They have been told to submit replies within 48 hours.