HC asks local bodies dept to probe hijacking of Barnala MC polls
The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed Punjab principal secretary, local government, to conduct an inquiry into allegations of hijacking of the elections of president and vice-president of municipal committee (MC), Barnala, within two weeks. The court acted on the plea of 18 municipal councillors led by Paramjit Singh.
The division bench of justice Ajay Tewari has also directed the petitioners to appear before the principal secretary on May 5 for presenting their case.
It was alleged in the plea that the election for the post of president and vice-president was conducted by SDM Varjit Singh Walia, by show of hands. Two petitioners, Paramjit Singh and Parkash Kaur, were elected as president and vice-president respectively, with overwhelming majority, while rival candidates, namely Gurjeet Singh and Narinder Kumar were defeated.
The SDM, at this stage, got signatures of all councillors, including an ex-officio member (sitting MLA) in a new register, for the purpose of writing down the proceedings of the election. Immediately thereafter, Kewal Singh Dhillon, halqa in-charge of the Congress, arrived and entered into the library hall of MC, and asked the SDM to get elections conducted once again.
The SDM acted as per directions of Dhillon, and despite strong protests from petitioners, held the election once again, but the result was same, it was claimed. The petitioners have claimed that the SDM, in conspiracy with Dhillon, Gurjeet Singh and Narinder Kumar declared them as elected for the post of president and vice-president respectively, adding that they protested before the media, which had assembled outside.
They complained to a number of authorities, including secretary, local government; director, local government, and the deputy commissioner, seeking an inquiry into the matter. Ignoring all complaints, however, a notification was issued naming Gurjeet Singh as president.