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Badal, ministers violate poll code by holding road meeting

Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, along with his cabinet colleagues and senior alliance leaders, violated the poll code of conduct by holding an election rally in the middle of the road.

punjab Updated: Jul 08, 2012 12:03 IST
Jasdeep Singh Malhotra
Jasdeep Singh Malhotra
Hindustan Times

Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, along with his cabinet colleagues and senior alliance leaders, violated the poll code of conduct by holding an election rally in the middle of the road on Saturday.

The rally, in favour of the BJP nominee Sukhjit Kaur, was held at the village's main chowk, blocking traffic towards Dasuya and other destinations. The chairs for the participants were put up in the middle of the road, while the main dais was in front of a section of shops. The chairs were so closely arranged that one could not even think of passing through to reach the other end.
The main chowk remained out of bound for vehicular traffic for more than five hours.

While Badal spoke at length on paticipation of the maximum number of voters, health minister Madan Mohan Mittal health minister, irrigation minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon, BJP candidate Sukhjit Kaur and Manjeet Singh, president of Akali Dal's US unit, also addressed the election meeting. The Akali Dal poll in charge BS Ramoowalia was also present.

The vehicles of the CM's cavalcade were also parked on the adjoining road in such a wrong manner that there a complete blockade of the area and no vehicle could pass.

Visibly enthused over largely attended rally, Badal quipped that presence of supporters in such a huge number had ensured BJP candidate's victory by a large margin. But the CM didn't realise that the election meetings could not be held on public places like roads.

Badal presided over a poll rally in favour of Sukhjit Kaur in ward number 11 of Dasuya nagar council last night. The rally was also organised on the road in violation of the poll code.

Manoranjan Kalia, a senior BJP leader and party nominee from Jalandhar (central) constituency had organised an election meeting on the road during 2007 assembly polls. Taking strong exception to violation of the poll code, the Election Commission of India (EC) got a case registered against Kalia under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 283 (danger or obstruction in public way or lie of navigation) of the IPC.

Though Kalia was inducted as a minister in Punjab cabinet after the formation of the government, he was chargesheeted. He faced trial in a Jalandhar court for over three years before acquittal for lack of evidence.

Meanwhile, SAD-BJP leaders, including PWD (B&R) minister Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon, also violated the code by holding an election strategy formulation meeting and lunch at Shivalik Hills Public School, Deh Nangal (Kamahi Devi) near Talwara on Saturday.

The poll code debars use of educational institutions including private ones for election purposes.

Those, who participated in the strategy meeting, included Dhillon, Som Parkash and sant Balbir Singh Ghuns, chief parliamentary secretaries, MLAs- Gurpartap Singh Wadala, Iqbal Singh Jhoonda, Thekedar Surinder Singh, Mantar Singh Brar, SGPC members- Amarjit Singh Chawla, SAD leader Prem Singh Chandumajra Master Mohan Lal, former minister and Nirmal Singh Kahlon, former Vidhan sabha speaker.

The SAD (Amritsar-Urban) unit president Upkar Singh Sandhu, who is also president of school management committee, was also present. Sources said that school was being used for election campaigning purposes during summer vacations.

Nearly 300 leaders and workers were also served lunch on the school premises.

Returning Officer Rahul Chaba said that the contents of the video recordings of rallies presided over by the chief minister were being examined. "We will take appropriate action under the directions of the Election Commission."

First Published: Jul 07, 2012 23:06 IST