With Opposition Congress demanding deferment of block samiti and zila parishad polls,the SAD-BJP government on Wednesday requested the State Election Commission to defer the polls by over a week.
We are very much interested in having fair polls. The chief minister feels that if the Opposition wants more time,there should be no problem in deferring polls. Punjab Congress chief Partap Bajwa had yesterday appealed to the State Election Commission for more time. Today,we have also appealed to the poll panel to defer the polls by over a week, Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Surjit Singh Rakhra said.
When contacted,State Election Commissioner S S Brar said he has received a request from the government and a final decision will be taken on Thursday. I will hold a meeting with the ADC (Development) to take a final call on the matter, Brar said.
On Tuesday,the Congress had called on Brar alleging several anomalies right from issuance of notification on late Thursday evening,under process reservation rosters and incomplete electoral rolls. It had argued that the harvesting season was on in full swing and it would not just inconvenience farmers but parties and candidates will also find it difficult to campaign in villages.
While filing of nominations for the polls was to begin on April 26,there is still uncertainty over reservation roaster in districts where notification for making villages as nagar panchayats has been issued by the government. The Kapurthala district development and panchayat officer (DDPO) has sought a reply from the government whether Nadala village should be kept out of purview of the block samiti polls,as process to make it a nagar panchayat is in the pipeline.
I have written to seek clarification whether Nadala is to be treated as a nagar panchayat. If it is so,then the village will have to be removed from the current block samiti and another village would be added,as there should be a minimum of 15 and maximum of 25 villages in a block samiti. Once it is confirmed,we will reshuffle the list of villages in the block samiti accordingly, DDPO Ranbir Singh said.
Meanwhile,Congress spokesman Sukhpal Khaira on Wednesday alleged that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has ordered that at least three villages Nadala in Kapurthala district,Bhai Rupa in Bathinda and Guruharsahai in Ferozepur district be treated as nagar panchayats for the elections in a meeting held on Tuesday.
If these villages are made nagar panchayats,they will have to be removed from lists of villages and the reservation roaster will have to be made afresh. In case of Nadala,there are three notifications. One a draft notification for making it a nagar panchayat,other brackets it as a village for block samiti polls and yet another lists it as a zone. We have also learnt that notification for these polls has yet not been made in five districts. With so many anomalies and confusion,it would not have been a fair election. Some seats would have gone unopposed giving the government a free run, Khaira said.