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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Bajwa hopeful of postponement of panchayat elections

Harpreet Kaur, Hindustan Times  Hoshiarpur, April 24, 2013
First Published: 19:33 IST(24/4/2013) | Last Updated: 19:35 IST(24/4/2013)

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Partap Singh Bajwa has expressed hope that his party's request for re-scheduling of panchayat elections would be met. Bajwa, who, had recently led a party deputation to the state election commission, demanding postponement of elections, said that it would be difficult for the people to participate in the election process, when wheat harvesting is likely to still be in progress.

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Bajwa, who was in town on Wednesday, to attend the last rites of former Congress minister Ramesh Chander Dogra, said in a press conferecne that the state government had kept the people in the dark about delimitation of blocks and no information was made public in this regard.

Even the voter lists were not available, he alleged.

He said the Cngress feared that the ruling alliance would resort to unfair means to win the elections, hence it had asked for videography of the entire election process,  starting from the filing of nominations papers to voting and counting.

Bajwa reiterated that he would take up the wealth tax issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister P Chidambaram and claimed that the move ruin farmers, already reeling under debt. The proposed wealth tax was much higher than the per acre income from agriculture land, he claimed.

On the legal notice sent to him by SAD leader Sewa Singh Sekhwan for his alleged derogatory remarks against the chief minister and the deputy chief minister, Bajwa said he was yet to receive any such notice.

"I have read it in the newspapers. I'll make a statement after I get the notice," he added. He said the Akalis were in the habit of twisting facts.

"If I ever did compare Parkash Singh Badal to Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi, it  was only to remind him the end these dictators met at the hands of the public."

Does not meet local leaders
Fissures seemed to have appeared in the Congress on the very first visit of Bajwa to the town. Although he stayed a good two hours, he did not try to talk to district president and local MLA Sunder Sham Arora. He also did not seek out any other party leader to get the latest news on party affairs in the district. Instead, he preferred to call a press conference to share his views on state subjects.

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