It was a day of blatant violation of the poll code of conduct by the ruling combine ministers and politicians during the filing of nomination papers of BJP candidate Sukhjit Kaur Sahi on Friday.
State revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, who is also the Youth Akali Dal president and Surjit Singh Bhullewalrathan, Garshankar Akali MLA, violated the code by moving in vehicles fitted with red roof lights. The HT team video-recorded all such violations.
Majithia reached Sahi’s residence in a Montero bearing registration number PB-65G-1278 with a red light atop its roof. Bhullewalrathan reached the BJP’s rally spot at new grain market in Innova PB-07X-0016, also commiting the same offence.
Local bodies minister Chunni Lal accompanied by chief parliamentary secretary KD Bhandari, also ran foul of the law. The official pilot gypsy driver was heard sounding the siren near the rally site, probably to make the gathering aware about the arrival of BJP leaders. Chunni Lal’s escort vehicle also carried a red light.
Chief parliamentary secretary Som Parkash, who resigned as a senior IAS officer before joining the saffron party, also added his name to the list of violators, as his escort gypsy was found fitted with the red light.
Two vehicles, a Chevrolet Tavera bearing registration number and a white ambassador, were seen parked at Sahi’s residence.
The EC has banned the use of lights of any colour atop vehicles and siren by politicians and ministers during elections. The use of red light by escort or pilot vehicles was violation of the norms prescribed by the state transport department, which prescribes that only officials and that too with the rank of a SSP or above could use red roof lights on their official vehicles.
Besides, the use of official vehicles by the ministers, chief parliamentary secretary or the MLA to carry their security guards was also a violation of the poll code. The cost on the movement of such vehicles could also be added to the contestant.
Later, Sahi and her doctor son filed the nomination papers in the presence of 14 persons though the EC allows only five persons, including the candidate for a single nomination.
Notice to BJP nominee
The returning oficer has issued show cause notices to BJP candidate Sukhjit and her covering candidate Harsimart Sahi for violation of the poll code on different counts. The duo has been asked to submit a reply within 24 hours. The RO added that a show-cause notice had also been issued to PPP candidate Bhupinder Singh Ghumman for defacement of property.