Terming the recently concluded panchayat elections as a "mockery" of the democratic set-up, Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Thursday said the state Congress would file a petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court against the "blatant rigging and high-handedness" of government officials during the elections.
Speaking at the bhog ceremony of Harcharan Kaur, mother-in-law of senior Congress leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal at Lehragaga on Thursday, Bajwa said they had also demanded a CBI inquiry into the anomalies and mala-fide activities committed during the election at the behest of the SAD-BJP leaders.
"We have faith in judiciary and are hopeful that a CBI inquiry will be ordered to inquire into the gross violation of rules," he said.He alleged that he had received hundreds of complaints from the party workers across the state complaining about casting of bogus votes.
"In many villagers, more votes had been polled than the total number of votes. From rigging to casting of bogus votes, SAD-BJP leaders have brought disrespect to the democratic institutions by directly or indirectly involving themselves in it. Panchayat elections have shown the poor face of Akali leaders and their lust to remain in power," he said.
Bajwa alleged that deputy commissioners of all districts had played a part in ensuring victories for SAD sarpanches and panches. "Deputy commissioners had been given strict instructions to ensure victory of 90% of SAD sarpanches in their respective areas," Bajwa alleged.
Urban areas to get better health services
Santosh Chaudhary, union minister of state for health and family welfare, said the union health department had sought a proposal from the Punjab government to send their representations regarding their requirements in order to improve health services in urban areas.
"The union government has given enough money, especially to Punjab, when it comes to improving health facilities," Chaudhary said.She said a 500-bed PGI satellite centre would be set up in Sangrur in two phases. "The file is already with the Prime Minister. In the first phase, 300 beds would be installed, while the remaining 200 would be provided in the second phase," she said.