Punjab Congress leader and former MLA Jasbir Singh Dimpa on Wednesday accused state election commissioner SS Brar of "bias" and "acting at the behest of the state government" to ensure that maximum candidates of the ruling SAD-BJP alliance got elected unopposed in the zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections, the nominations for which ended on Tuesday.
Dimpa made these accusations after the nomination papers of Congress candidate from Khadoor Sahib zila parishad zone, Sarabjit Kaur, were not accepted by returning officer and ADC Kulbir Singh.
He alleged that the ADC had acted as per the directions of senior SAD leader and former minister Ranjit Singh Brahmapura.
In a statement issued here, the Congress leader claimed that numerous telephone calls were made to Brar by his party workers but he did not take these calls. This clearly showed that Brar was out to appease the ruling alliance by ensuring its victory in the polls, Dimpa remarked.
In a communique sent to the state election commissioner's office in Chandigarh, Dimpa claimed that the Congress candidate had reached the returning officer's office to submit her nomination papers 20 minutes before the deadline of 3pm on Tuesday. According to Dimpa, the returning officer wasted time though he was reminded about the deadline. "After 3pm, the officer told her to leave his office and refused to accept the nomination papers," he claimed in the communique.
"When Congress workers protested, the returning officer abused them and even made caste-based remarks. The workers were pushed out of the office of the returning officer by his staff and a couple of policemen, who had been stationed in advance by the returning officer to deal with Congress workers," claimed Dimpa.
Dimpa said he had apprised PPCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa of the entire matter. He demanded registration of a criminal case against the returning officer on charge of using abusive language and making casteist remarks.
Returning officer Kulbir Singh denied the allegations and claimed that Sarabjit Kaur along with her supporters reached his office well past the deadline of 3pm.
"In fact, the Congress candidate and her supporters were under the impression that the deadline was 4pm and so they started from Khadoor Sahib accordingly," he claimed.