Akalis urge EC to depute ‘high-powered’ team for fair bypoll in Shahkot
A delegation of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday met Election Commission (EC) officials in New Delhi and demanded to depute “a high-powered team” in Shahkot segment for “free and fair” holding of the May 28 bypoll. SAD leaders cited action against station house officer (SHO) Parminder Singh Bajwa, who registered a case of illegal mining against Congress candidate Hardev Singh Ladi Sherowalia, to stress that the state’s ruling party Congress may misuse official machinery.
In a statement here, SAD spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said the delegation told the EC that efforts are being made by Congress to “demoralise” officials posted in Shahkot. “Fears have come true. The SHO has been arrested on trumped-up charges because he resisted pressure from the Congress party and registered the case (against Ladi),” he said. The SHO was arrested after he allegedly assaulted a security officer at a local court where he had gone to seek security. The security officer was asking him to leave his revolver outside, said the FIR.
The SAD, asking the EC to intervene immediately, said this was necessary to instil faith in the electoral system among officials on duty in Shahkot. “The Congress government has sent a clear message that it will persecute anyone who tries to go by the law and tries to take action against the Congress candidate.”
The delegation also said that immediately after he registered the case against the Congress candidate, the SHO was sent on “forced” leave and his “harassment started” with inquiries being marked against him.