FORMER DEPUTY speaker Bir Devinder Singh on Thursday demanded postponement of the Punjab Assembly election in view of demonetisation, stating a common man would not be able to contest in view of the note crunch.
In a letter to the Election Commission, Singh referred to the situation as akin to “financial emergency” and demanded that the election be put off till the situation normalised.
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“With more or less Rs 15 lakh crores sucked back from the system, now, there are stringent restrictions on how much one can withdraw from one’s personal account, that, too, within specified period of times. Majority of the ATMs and banks are cashless, putting the general public in extreme agony. Unfortunately, currency position does not seem to become normal in the foreseeable future. In view of the grim economic conditions, which amounts to ‘fiscal paralysis’, I would wish to submit to the Election Commission of India to seriously consider postponing the Punjab Assembly elections, taking into account the unprecedented currency crunch and rigorous restrictions on the withdrawal of money from the banks,” he said.
“The ridiculous act of demonetisation, declaring 86 per cent of the Indian currency as illegal tender, is certainly not conducive to holding free and fair elections,” added Singh.