In an apparent violation of model code of conduct in force in the run-up to the June 10 municipal corporation polls, SAD candidate from ward number 31, Harpal Juneja, today went to file his nomination in a cavalcade of over 100 vehicles, bringing traffic on busy Patiala roads to a halt for nearly two hours. Juneja is being seen as a strong contender for the post of mayor if SAD manages the requisite numbers in the MC House.
Juneja's cavalcade started from the Polo Ground situated in the heart of the city around 11 am and reached the office of the returning officer at mini-secretariat around 1 pm.
The cavalcade, comprising four-wheelers and two-wheelers, passed through the busy main roads of the city via Leela Bhawan and railway crossing 22, bringing to halt the traffic on the roads.
Students of different private schools were seen at the receiving end as they were caught in the traffic jam on a hot Saturday.
Juneja, a confidante of revenue minister Bikaramjeet Singh Majithia and a Hindu face of SAD in Patiala, is being tipped as the front-runner for the post of mayor, along with the incumbent Ajit Pal Singh Kohli.
Interestingly, no election observer took note of the ‘show of strength’ by the SAD leader.
When assistant returning officer (ARO) for the ward (as returning officer was not available) was asked by HT if this was violation or not, he refused to comment saying that the SAD leader had come only with four persons to submit his nomination form.
"I don't know what happened outside. In my room all rules of model code of conduct were followed," said ARO naib-tehsildar Jasbir Singh.
Main electoral officer for the elections of Patiala municipal corporation and additional deputy commissioner Anindita Mitra, when contacted, assured that he would ask the RO concerned to look into the matter.
"If violation of model code is proved, the returning officer would be asked to add the money spent on this rally into the election expenditure of the said candidate," said the ADC.