Virtually raising a question mark over the need of transferring officials by the Election Commission (EC) during the poll process, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Thursday that EC in fact shifted officials merely to display its authority.
Sukhbir said that during the imposition of the model code of conduct, neither the public nor the government need these officials as, during elections, these officials can do no work and said that no official can contribute to the win or loss of a candidate, so transfers are only an attempt by the EC to assert its authority.
Sukhbir was in Rampura Phul near here to welcome former minister Sukhdev Singh Dhillon and his son Amardeep Singh Dhillon, a loyalist of Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh, into the SAD.
He was asked about Punjab director general of police (DGP) Sumdeh Singh Saini going on leave till May 20 and transfer of civil and police officials by EC on April 1.
The EC had, on April 1, transferred deputy commissioners of Sangrur, Fazilka and Patiala districts, Ludhiana commissioner of police, and SSPs of Ferozepur, Moga, Fazilka, and Mansa districts.
On PPCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa projecting him as a future chief minister of the state, Sukhbir said that Congress leaders should make it clear that who is their chief ministerial candidate so that the SAD could know whom are they fighting with.
The deputy chief minister, when asked if SAD was behind fielding a namesake of Congress-PPP joint candidate Manpreet Singh Badal as an independent candidate, he denied the same claiming that SAD need not to do the same.
When questioned that his cousin Pawanpreet Singh alias Bobby Badal was accompanying the man during his filing of nomination papers, Sukhbir claimed that his cousin had only gone to the office of the deputy commissioner and it was only a matter of chance that he was with that man.
Addressing the gathering, Sukhbir said that the ambition of becoming chief minister was the cause behind his cousion Manpreet’s split from SAD.
He claimed that Manpreet was misguided by Congress leaders that SAD MLAs would revolt in his support and said that breaking the SAD, that has sound foundations, is not possible. He went on claiming that if the NDA forms the next government at the Centre, he has set the target of getting grant of `100 crore for each assembly segment.