Punjab panchayat polls: Panel nothing more than a mute spectator, says LoP Cheema
A day after an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate was found murdered in Bathinda, leader of opposition (LOP) Harpal Singh Cheema on Tuesday accused the Punjab State Election Commission of being nothing more than a mute spectator with the ruling Congress having virtually hijacked the entire poll process for the panchayati raj bodies.
Cheema, who met state election commissioner Jagpal Singh Sandhu, alleged that the poll panel was conducting the zila parishad and block samiti elections in a “perfunctory manner”.
“The election body has not only failed to provide security to candidates across the state, several election officers are working under fear of reprisal,” he told HT after his meeting with Sandhu.
Cheema was accompanied by AAP state unit co-president Dr Balbir Singh.
The two AAP leaders demanded postponement of the elections due to large-scale violence, wrong rejection of nomination papers and alleged misuse of official machinery by the ruling party. In a representation, they said that party volunteers, candidates and office-bearers were harassed, intimidated and threatened in different of parts of the state.