Taking a tough stance against poll code violations during the run-up to the July 11 by-election for the Dasuya assembly seat, the Election Commission of India (EC) has served show cause notices on certain senior politicians across the political spectrum in Punjab, including two ministers and a chief parliamentary secretary, for using red lights atop their vehicles and misusing official machinery.
Returning officer Rahul Chaba said that the based on an HT report on poll code violations, the EC had served show cause notices upon state revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia and Garhshankar Akali MLA Surinder Singh Bhullewalrathan for using red lights atop their vehicles during their visit to the constituency on June 22.
"There is a complete ban on the use of red lights atop vehicles, siren-fitted vehicles and pilot cars by politicians during elections," he pointed out.
Besides, notices were also served on local bodies minister Chunni Lal Bhagat and chief parliamentary secretary Som Parkash for using red light-fitted escort gypsy to ferry their security guards up to the BJP rally venue at the grain market here and then moving in the constituency, he said. Bhagat also violated the code by using a siren-fitted pilot vehicle in violation of the code.
Interestingly, even as his political opponents were put on notice for violating EC code of conduct, Congress Legislative Party leader Sunil Jakhar too was found on the wrong side of the law on Saturday.
Though he travelled in a private vehicle in the constituency, an escort gypsy (PB-11AX-9973 with red light atop put him in the increasing list of violators. "Notice has been served on Jakhar also, who will have to explain the violation of EC instructions within 24 hours," Chaba added.
Sangat Singh Giljian, Congress MLA from Tanda, too was found travelling in his official Innova SUV (PB-65H-9184), which amounts to misuse of official machinery. "Giljian too was served a notice, which is returnable in 24 hours," he added.
Earlier, the EC had issued notices to BJP candidate Sukhjit Kaur Sahi and her doctor son Harsimrat Singh Sahi for exceeding the limit of persons allowed inside the RO's room during filing of nomination papers. "We are yet to get their replies," Chaba said, adding that the EC instructions and poll code would be strictly implemented.
Meanwhile, Congress leaders indulged in mudslinging during a party rally at the grain market here. Congress MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa dubbed the Akali leaders of Majha region as "big thieves and goonda elements".
Randhwa exhorted Congress workers to ensure the victory of party candidate Mickey Dogra in the by-election.