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'Impose President's rule in Punjab'

Congress on Friday approached the President Pratibha Patil, demanding imposition of President's Rule in SAD-BJP ruled Punjab in the wake of "total subversion of democracy and law and order" in the state.

india Updated: May 17, 2008 00:54 IST

Congress on Friday approached the President Pratibha Patil, demanding imposition of President's Rule in SAD-BJP ruled Punjab in the wake of "total subversion of democracy and law and order" in the state where elections to Block Samitis and Zila Parishads were held recently.

A delegation led by Punjab Congress chief Rajinder Kaur Bhattal met the President Pratibha Devisingh Patil New Delhi, and apprised her of "ominous situation that is fast evolving in Punjab".

"There is complete breakdown of law and order and Constitutional scheme of governance in Punjab. The situation is such that democracy is in peril and except for pre-emptive imposition of President's Rule, there is no other way..." It said in a memorandum given to the President.

She also alleged that during elections held for Block Samitis and Zila Parishads earlier this week, the State Government, indulged in rampant booth capturing and intimidation of voters in connivance of police personnel.

"Congress Sarpanches, Block Samiti and Zila Parishad members who wanted to contest elections, were denied 'No Objection' certificates by Block Development Officers on the instructions of the state Chief Minister," Bhattal alleged in the memorandum.

She further alleged that on the day of polling on May 12, state police officers in 'muftis' and musclemen imported from Haryana indulged in booth capturing and pressurised poll officers to do so.

Bhattal also alleged that Congress workers were brutally beaten up and around 200 workers across the state had to be hospitalised, while three people were killed.

"The Pradesh Congress Committee is indeed surprised that the Governor of Punjab who is your direct representative has not apprised you with the situation...", the memorandum stated.