Congress on Monday demanded action against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal for violating the Model Code of Conduct during its ‘Hola-Mohalla’ conference at Anandpur Sahib.
In a complaint filed with Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath, copies of which were released to the media here, a Punjab Congress spokesman alleged that the Badals violated the poll code “blatantly, flagrantly and wilfully” at Akali Dal’s ‘Hola-Mohalla’ conference at Anandpur Sahib yesterday.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has advised all political parties against holding any conference on the occasion of ‘Hola-Mohalla’ at Anandpur Sahib.
“As per the ECI order, no political party could use any religious premises for the purpose of holding a conference. It is common knowledge that the SAD has been holding its annual political conference on the occasion of ‘Hola-Mohalla’ at a site provided by the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC),” the spokesman said.
The Chief Minister, who is supposed to lead by example and follow the Model Code of Conduct, chose to wilfully and blatantly defy the instructions issued by the ECI and made a political speech to influence the voters, Congress claimed.
Besides, Badal had also attacked the ECI and accused it of acting on the instructions of the central government and the Congress party to prevent the SAD conference, Punjab Congress spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira said.
“Badal equated the ECI instructions with the gag order issued during the days of the Emergency in the country, when freedom of speech and freedom to write were curbed,” he said.
The Punjab Congress demanded strict legal action against Badal and Sukhbir for allegedly misusing religious places for canvassing and influencing voters in the name of religion.
According to sources, Badals had refrained from making any political speech at the Aali Dal conference at Anadpur Sahib yesterday. However, Badal lambasted ECI for imposing a ban on political conference within the premises of Sikh shrine at Anandpur Sahib.