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Day after brazen violation of rules, traffic police fine BJYM supporters

The crackdown is arguably first-of-its-kind against a political party that often indulge in brazen violation of norms during rallies.

punjab Updated:
Rajanbir Singh
Rajanbir Singh
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,BJYM,BJYM bike rally
BJYM supporters rode helmetless and resorted to triple riding during a rally to celebrate four years of the Narendra Modi government in Chandigarh on Sunday.(HT File)

A day after members of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), blatantly flouted traffic rules during a rally, the traffic police issued 10 challans on Monday.

The crackdown is arguably first-of-its-kind against a political party that often indulge in brazen violation of norms during rallies.

The procession was taken out to celebrate the completion of four years of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre. It started from the local BJP office, , Sector 33, and passed through Sectors 34, 35 and 22, before culminating at Sector 17. It was flagged off by party’s local unit chief Sanjay Tandon.

The police action came after pictures of the BJYM supporters, indulging in triple riding, helmetless riding, and overloading of cars, appeared in several newspapers on Monday, even as all the violations took place right under the nose of the cops deployed along the rally’s route.

UT traffic senior superintendent of police (SSP) Shashank Anand confirmed 10 violators had been issued challans. “We are collecting footage and pictures from various sources, including reporters, to assess the situation,” he said.

Police sources said most vehicles challaned were two-wheelers that were identified through cameras installed on the route. The official could not confirm whether the fined violators included any senior party leader.

Sanjay Tandon, who flagged off the rally “disapproved” of the party workers’ behaviour.

“A written communication had been sent out to the participants to adhere to the traffic rules and wear helmets. In the future, such rallies shouldn’t be carried out where a situation like this can arise,” he said.

Meanwhile, Congress left no chance to take potshots at the BJP.

“This isn’t the first time that the BJP broke the law during its rallies. They frequently put up buntings and flags for their rallies, which is illegal,” said Pawan Bansal, a former Congress MP and union minister.

While refusing to be drawn in the controversy, additional solicitor general and former BJP MP Satya Pal Jain said law must take its course.

Action in past found wanting

In the past, Congress as well as the BJP have set up illegal hoardings along city roads for several political rallies. But either party has rarely been punished by the municipal corporation, whether headed by the BJP or the Congress.

On April 8, 2018, the Punjab wing of the BJP had put up banners and flags across the city to welcome Shwait Malik after his elevation to the post of state party chief.

The MC, with the BJP in power, tried to remove the hoardings, but no further action was seen. Similarly, no steps were taken after the party’s hoardings dotted the city ahead of BJP national president Amit Shah’s visit to the city in May 2017.

The Congress too has been let off many times. On September 16, 2015, the MC issued a notice to Punjab Youth Congress for putting up illegal hoardings, but made no recovery of fine.

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