Former Punjab deputy speaker and senior Congress leader Bir Devinder Singh has written to the Election Commission to immediately announce the date for the Khadoor Sahib assembly byelection in Punjab to avoid the “corrupt practices” unleashed by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Alleging brazen misuse of official machinery and government funds by the CM, in the constituency which is slated to go for the bypoll, he said the CM is camping in the constituency holding sangat darshan. “The CM is not only doling out financial favours to influence the electorate but also announcing development schemes for the area to win the bypoll.”
Bir Devinder said, “I understand that the notification dated November 11 issued by the Punjab Assembly Speaker declaring the seat vacant has already reached the office of the Election Commission. Taking cognisance of this, it must announce the date for the bypoll as early as possible to ensure a fair poll and impose the model code of conduct with immediate effect as the probable candidate of the ruling party, Ravinder Singh Brahmpura, is accompanying the CM at all such development programmes, which is highly objectionable.”
Punjab chief electoral officer VK Singh, when contacted, said the EC had a six-month window to hold a bypoll after a seat fell vacant. “The EC usually clubs bypolls in states. It has been notified by us about the Khadoor Sahib seat falling vacant. If the Congress has made a communication to the EC, it will take note of it in its meeting,” he said.