Congress activists on Monday staged a protest against local bodies and medical education minister Anil Joshi, demanding his resignation for having committed a fraud by getting himself registered as a voter from Panj Peer locality allegedly on the basis of forged documents in 2006.
The party workers, led by Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) secretary Karamjit Singh Rintu, burnt an effigy of the minister during the protest in Mustafabad area of the city. Anek Singh, a former councillor from the area, said if the minister did not resign, he should be dismissed by the chief minister as he had committed a very grave offence by registering as a voter on the basis of forged documents.
Rintu, while addressing his party workers, claimed that at the time of filing nominations for the 2007 assembly polls, Joshi was registered as a voter from two places in the city. The BJP has itself admitted that Joshi got his name removed from the electoral rolls from the Golden Avenue area in 2008, he said.
He pointed to the admission made by BJP spokesperson RPS Maini in this regard before the media last week. "It is a serious offence for a contesting candidate to have two votes, particularly when one is made on the basis of forged documents," he said.
The Congress leader demanded that the Election Commission of India (ECI) declare Joshi's election to the state assembly in 2007 and 2012 as null and void. The state government should ask the minister to "repay all benefits to the government in cash right from 2007 onwards", he asserted.
Rintu who lost to Joshi from Amritsar North in 2012, also charged the BJP leader of having made bogus votes to ensure his victory in the last elections. He claimed this on the basis of the door-to-door survey he had conducted in 50 of the 182 polling booths in the constituency and which he had released to the media last week.