Many ministers and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders from outside Talwandi Sabo were seen roaming freely in the constituency on the polling day in violation of the model election code of conduct.
The ministers, MLAs and party office-bearers had made Takht Damdama Sahib their base camp to run their activities.
The administration had instructed all outsiders to leave the constituency by 5 pm on August 19. However, the orders were followed neither by the leaders nor by the officials of the administration in the true spirit.
Cabinet minister Sikander Singh Maluka was caught on the camera by the HT while he was holding a meeting of Akali workers at the Takht Damdama Sahib forgetting that a religious place cannot be used for political activity during elections.
The meeting was held at the ‘Yatri Niwas’ of the Takht Damdama Sahib. Not only Sikander Singh Maluka, but also his son and Zila Parishad chairman Gurpreet Singh Maluka was found moving freely in Talwandi Sabo villages.
Similarly, former Bathinda mayor Baljit Singh Beer Bheman entered the town at about 7 am and directly went to the Takht Damdama Sahib. SAD district youth president Balkar Singh was found at the polling booth of Government Senior Secondary School (Boys) at around 9 am.
Bathinda MLA Sarup Chand Singla and Bathinda (Rural) MLA Darshan Singh Kotfatta were also reportedly working enthusiastically in Talwandi Sabo. Most Akali ministers and leaders camping in Talwandi Sabo for the past 20 days had not quit Talwandi Sabo 24 hours before the voting day.