Elections for the chairman and the vice-chairman of Doraha block samiti was put off on Monday amid high drama, in which the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) took the plea that the SAD members in the block samiti had not received agenda of the meeting.
Doraha is the only block in the district where the Congress is comfortably positioned to bag the posts of chairman and the vice-chairman. Here out of total 16 block samiti members, the ruling SAD has only seven where the Congress has nine.
Doraha falls in the Payal assembly segment represented by Vidhan Sabha speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal.
"The elections were put off because the SAD members in the block samiti stated that they have not received the agenda of the meeting which the block development and panchayat officer (BDPO) sends to individual members asking them to be present to elect chairman and vice-chairman," Khanna SDM Mahinder Pal Gupta said.
But the claim of the SDM defied logic as it was surprising how all the SAD members didn't receive the agenda, while those of the Congress did receive the same.
The Doraha BDPO, Harmandeep Singh, said the elections were postponed by the SDM as a few members had not received the agenda of the meeting. Sources said it was on Friday that the decision to conduct elections was taken by the SDM and as per the procedure, the BDPO was asked to send the agenda of the meeting to all the members.
"But we remained busy in preparations for the oath-taking ceremony of panches and sarpanches scheduled for Sunday where the chief minister was to come. We deputed our peon on Sunday afternoon to personally distribute the letters but somehow he could not contact all members because of paucity of time," the BDPO said.
"It's a deliberate act by the ruling party as it was destined to face defeat in the elections. It's a murder of democratic principles. Actually, it shows the frustration of the SAD leadership," stated Lakhbir Singh Lakha, a local Congress leader.
Payal constituency is the only segment in Ludhiana where the Congress put up a good show in the recently conducted elections for the block samiti, zila parishad and panchayats. Out of the three zila parishad seats, the Congress won two.