Punjab Congress Sunday again urged the Election Commission to impose the Model Code of Conduct in the state “without further delay” to curb the “growing criminalisation and gross misuse” of official machinery by the Badal government. In a complaint to the poll panel, state Congress chief Amarinder Singh claimed that the possibility of holding a free and fair election in the state is becoming “more remote” by the day in view of the government’s failure to abide by the commission’s directives.
“Despite your explicit instructions to check the police-criminal nexus and to put an immediate stop to the misuse of official machinery to promote vested political interests, the Badal government continues to indulge in anti-people activities, negating all possibilities of holding a fair and free election in the state,” the complaint said.
Amarinder alleged that the “reign of terror” let loose by criminals and mafia “working in direct nexus with the ruling SAD” continues unabated, with new incidents being uncovered every day exposing the complicity of the Akali leadership in cases of criminalisation and lawlessness in the state.
Even as it welcomed the Election Commission’s initiatives to ensure free and fair polls in the state, Congress cited several recent instances and underlined the need for strong measures to bring the situation under control.
In its complaint, Congress referred to the arrest of a BJP leader from Mansa in an illicit liquor case, and the murder of an ex-serviceman in Moga following an argument over illicit liquor sale.
Amarinder also highlighted the “increasing atrocities against Dalits” to underline the importance of the poll panel’s urgent intervention to check the growing lawlessness in the state.
Mentioning the launch of 100 mobile vans for the state government’s health awareness campaign, Congress, in its complaint, also expressed serious concern over the “misuse” of the official machinery by the Badal government “to promote its political interests.”
“The situation, as is evident, is progressively deteriorating and crying for stiff and stern action by the Election Commission to ensure that polls in the state can be held with some decorum of fairness,” it said.
The Punjab State Election Commission had recently asked political parties in the poll-bound state to comply with the directions of the Election Commission on not using public funds and machinery to carry out any activity that amounts to advertisement for the party.
Punjab assembly polls are due early next year.