The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) on Wednesday demanded the immediate resignation of BJP leader and local bodies minister Anil Joshi after his indictment by the Election Commission (EC) of India, which has ordered the registration of a criminal case against the minister under the Representation of the People Act.
In a statement issued here, PPCC vice-presidents OP Soni and Sardool Singh; District Congress Committee (DCC) president (Amritsar Urban) Rajiv Bhagat; DCC president (Amritsar Rural) Gurjit Aujla; and PPCC secretaries Karamjit Singh Rintu, Anil Datta and Virender Sharma; said Joshi had no moral right to remain on his post after allegations of enrolling as a voter at two places had been proved.
They also demanded the registration of criminal cases against Joshi under sections 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 120 (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for fabrication of documents to enrol as voter at two places. The Congress leaders also sought the registration of cases against the deputy commissioners of Amritsar and Tarn Taran under section 201 of the IPC for destroying the evidence. "The DCs, who were also the election returning officers, had given the report to the EC that documents submitted by Joshi were not traceable," said the Congress leaders.
They said since the vote, on the basis of which Joshi had contested the assembly elections, had become null and void, the EC must take steps to remove Joshi from the Amritsar (North) seat.
The PPCC leaders said a complaint of forgery and fabrication of voter cards by Joshi and his family members was made to the Amritsar deputy commissioner, but he failed to conduct an inquiry due to political pressure exerted by the minister.
They accused chief minister Parkash Singh Badal of defending Joshi and using him to humiliate Amritsar BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu.