The Congress has decided to boycott elections to four zila parishad and 30 block samiti seats in Fatehgarh Churian assembly constituency due to "highhandedness" of the Akalis in getting the genuine nomination papers of opposition party's candidates from 14 block samitis rejected.
Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Congress MLA from Fatehgarh Churian, told a press conference on Saturday that the returning officer-cum-Batala SDM Jagwinderjit Singh Grewal had rejected the nominations of Congress candidates for 14 block samiti seats on "flimsy grounds".
Asked if the decision to boycott the local elections was of the Congress, Bajwa explained that it was his own decision and that he had conveyed the same to his superiors in the party.
Speaking at the residence of PPCC member Raman Bahl here, Bajwa said that a list of candidates whose papers had been rejected was put on the notice board outside the office of Grewal one day. However, he claimed, the names of even those candidates whose nominations were shown as correct earlier on were also included in the rejection list the very next day.
The Congress MLA said that the nominations of two Congress candidates from Dayalgarh and Bajju Mann block samitis were shown as rejected on the ground that they had not signed their papers, even though they had duly signed them and had retained the xerox copies with them.
Bajwa showed the copies to the media persons to butress his claims.
The Congress leader alleged that police were adopting two yardsticks to deal with the supporters of the ruling SAD-BJP combine and the Congress. While the police were forcing the Congressmen to deposit their licensed weapons , they were not asking the ruling party's men to do the same.
When contacted, SDM Jagwinderjit Singh Grewal rubbished the charges and said that he was committed to free and fair elections. He said that he had performed his duty as returning officer impartially while scrutinising the nominations of candidates.
Meanwhile, the Congress MLA appealed to the state election commission to check the record of nominations filed by Congress candidates and take stern action against Grewal for "extending favours to the ruling party" by rejecting the genuine papers of Congress candidates in Fatehgarh Churian assembly constituency that covers parts of both Batala and Fatehgarh Churian blocks.