Flouting the model code of conduct imposed for the coming Lok Sabha elections, it was complete lawlessness that ruled the office of deputy commissioner cum returning officer as heavyweight candidates from all parties filed nomination papers for Ludhiana constituency on the same day.
All parties, Congress, Akali Dal, AAP and supporters of independent candidate Simrajit Singh Bains, violated the code of conduct as their supporters flooded the DC office. Hundreds of supporters of Congress and Akali Dal accompanied the candidates and raised slogans in the DC office premises which is violation of model code of conduct.
The lawlessness started with the arrival of independent candidate Simarjit Singh Bains, who was accompanied by his brother and MLA Balwinder Singh Bains. Councillors like Parminder Soma, Kanwaljit Kadwal, Arjun Singh Cheema and many other supporters also entered the DC office violating the code.
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Not only inside the premises but also in the area from barricading to the entrance of the DC office, swarm of supporters from Akali Dal, Congress and AAP came in. In an alleged publicity stunt, Bains who entered the DC office first forgot to bring the file and whiled away more than half an hour in DC office.
Meanwhile, SAD candidate Manpreet Singh Ayali also reached the premises and was made to wait in another room.
Bains’ process took more than one hour which left Akali Dal supporters fuming outside. Talking to Newsline, Manpreet Singh Ayali said, “We got to know that papers of Bains were incomplete. Or even if he did this deliberately to make us wait for long and gain publicity then it is not worth. For us such minor things do not matter.”
While Ayali was in queue, Congress candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu too reached outside DC office. Of the four parties, Congress’ supporters did maximum code violation as they came in chanting slogans of Congress like Aa gaye panje wala, chaa gaya panje wala. Congress’ supporters blocked the way from road to DC office for more than half an hour and chanted slogans with Congress flags in hand.
Another gimmick was witnessed when Bittu refused to enter the premises with Ayali and Bains already inside and he entered after Ayali came out. Also violating the rule for vehicles which does not permit more than three vehicles within 100 meters radius of DC office, Akali Dal and Congress arrived with whole cavalcade.
Parties tried to put a united face as district president Pawan Dewan, who was not comfortable with Bittu’s candidature accompanied him along with Congress MLAs Surinder Dawar, Rakesh Pandey and Bharat Bhushan Ashu. Bittu’s brother Harkirat Singh and Gurkirat Singh also came.
SAD candidate Manpreet Singh Ayali was accompanied by SGPC head Avtar Singh Makkar, advisor to CM Maheshinder Singh Grewal and BJP district president Parveen Bansal and Hira Singh Gabaria. Akali Dal supporters too occupied nook and corner inside DC office.
When asked about model code violation, Ayali said, “I instructed supporters not to accompany us in huge numbers but they were too excited.” Rush of supporters was a bit less at arrival of AAP candidate H S Phoolka but it too violated the code as more than 10 people entered along with him till entrance. Wearing AAP caps, Phoolka entered with patriotic songs being played in background and waited outside till Bittu came out.
Talking to Newsline, Isha Kalia, additional commissioner, said, “Notices will be issued to the parties for violating code of conduct as hundreds of supporters flooded the premises. We are looking into all violations and then notices will be issued.”