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Punjab under-prepared for zila parishad polls, says Akali Dal

The nominations start on September 4 (Tuesday) and end on September 7.

punjab Updated: Sep 04, 2018 09:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab,zila parishad polls,Akali Dal
The state election commission had announced the schedule and slated the polls for September 19.(HT File )

The Shiroman Akali Dal (SAD), on Monday, urged the State Election Commission to ensure that the candidates aspiring to contest from seats reserved for scheduled castes and backward classes (SCs and BCs) for the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samitis are issued required caste certificates at the earliest, so that no aspirant is deprived of his right to contest.

The state election commission had announced the schedule and slated the polls for September 19. The nominations start on September 4 (Tuesday) and end on September 7.

The SAD claims that those wanting contesting on seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes (SC and BC) seats will have a tough time getting the mandatory certificate and filing their papers in time as the past few days had been government holidays. It added that the state was under-prepared for elections.

In a letter written to the commission, SAD spokesman and senior vice-president Daljit Singh Cheema said the elections were announced on August 29 in the afternoon and publicised through newspapers only. Cheema added that the administration notified the reserved SC and BC seats only after the poll schedule had been announced.

“Since government offices in the state are closed and would open on September 4, when the process of nomination would begin, the commission is requested to ensure that candidates aspiring to contest on seats reserved for SC and BC seats are issued the required caste certificates within 12 hours so that no aspirant is deprived of his right to contest,” the letter adds.

He also claimed that to date, voting lists had not been made available to political parties.

Cheema added that apprehensions of ‘a conspiracy’ of the Congress party were reinforced as the poll dates were announced a day after the ‘drama’ in the assembly where the ruling party, in league with AAP, did its best to tarnish SAD’s image.

“If issuing certificates is not possible, candidates should be allowed to file nomination along with an affidavit, with an explicit provision to submit such a certificate later,” he added.

First Published: Sep 04, 2018 09:37 IST