Ban on political gatherings: No action taken against Haryana agri minister for campaigning in Baroda constituency

On Thursday, the police had booked 90 sacked physical training instructors (PTIs) for allegedly obstructing work of the agriculture minister during his visit to Mundlana village in Baroda.
Haryana agriculture minister JP Dalal addressing a gathering at Butana village in Sonepat’s Baroda on Saturday.(HT Photo)
Haryana agriculture minister JP Dalal addressing a gathering at Butana village in Sonepat’s Baroda on Saturday.(HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 26, 2020 09:13 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Rohtak | BySunil Rahar, Rohtak

The Sonepat district administration has failed to take any action against Haryana agriculture minister JP Dalal for violating a ban on political gatherings amid the Covid-19 pandemic as he continues to campaign in Baroda constituency of the district.

On Saturday, the minister again violated the administrative orders by holding meetings in villages of the constituency. He announced establishment of an industrial model township (IMT), a rice mill, a university and 65 crore for development project works in the constituency till now.

The dates for the Baroda bypolls are yet to be announced by the election commission. The seat has been vacant after the demise of Congress MLA Sri Krishan Hooda.

Speaking at the event, Dalal said his government has announced many development projects for Baroda before the declaration of the poll dates. “We are committed to develop Baroda constituency and urge people to elect our nominee in this election,” he said.

On Friday, the police had booked 90 sacked physical training instructors (PTIs) for allegedly obstructing work of the agriculture minister during his visit to Mundlana village in Baroda.

The PTIs were booked after they had shown black flags to Dalal during his visit to a community health centre.

The protesters said the minister had claimed that a group of 10 people had tried to stop his cavalcade. The police have, however, booked 90 people for obstructing his work during the visit.

Congress Tosham MLA Kiran Choudhary also slammed the district administration and the state government for failing to implement the ban on political gatherings in Baroda. “The government had booked farmers for organising the Pipli rally due to Covid-19 whereas it has failed to register an FIR against its agriculture minister and other leaders, who have been flouting the safety norms amid the pandemic by organising village-level meetings and putting lives at risk,” she said.

Sonepat deputy commissioner Shyam Lal Punia and Gohana sub-divisional magistrate Ashish Kumar, who was appointed the nodal officer to implement a ban, could not be reached for a comment despite repeated attempts.

The DC had announced a ban on political gatherings on Monday after Congress Rajya Sabha MP Deepinder Hooda was found infected with the virus. He had addressed poll rallies in various parts of the constituency. Karnal MP Sanjay Bhatia, agricultural minister JP Dalal, power and jails minister Ranjit Chautala, Gohana MLA Jagbir Malik and a few others politicians had also addressed village-level gatherings.

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