Congress demands deployment of central forces for panchayat polls

Alleging that panchayat raj elections are being rigged by the SAD-BJP regime,a delegation of Congress MPs and MLAs,led by party president Partap Singh Bajwa,on Monday met Governor Shivraj Patil and presented him memorandum.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: April 14, 2014 3:38:00 pm

Alleging that panchayat raj elections are being rigged by the SAD-BJP regime,a delegation of Congress MPs and MLAs,led by party president Partap Singh Bajwa,on Monday met Governor Shivraj Patil and presented him memorandum.

Asserting that Congress will not back out from the contest despite attempts by SAD to intimidate Congress candidates,Bajwa told Patil that the state government was blatantly misusing the local administration and police to coerce and intimidate Congress candidates and threatening them with registration of criminal cases in case they do not withdraw from the contest.

Bajwa also demanded deployment of paramilitary forces at all polling stations to avoid “booth capturing and intimidation” by SAD-BJP supporters. “The West Bengal State Election Commission had approached the Calcutta High Court to ensure that rural elections be held in three phases and under central paramilitary forces,which has been upheld by the high court,” he said,adding that free and fair elections were not possible Punjab in an atmosphere of terror.

The Congress further demanded that polling be videographed and SAD be asked to deposit all firearms immediately. “Till date,only 50 per cent firearms have been deposited with the police,” said Bajwa.

The party chief added that no officer either on contractual duty or re-employed be given any important election duty such as that of returning officer,presiding officer or assisting any other electoral duty. “It was shameful that returning officers had rejected nomination papers of Congress candidates in a large number… Congress will form a five-member panel to seek information through RTI about rejection of nomination papers in all districts,” said Bajwa.

The memorandum added: “The killing of Youth Congress leader Sukhraj Singh at Patti recently and firing on Congress MLA Rana Sodhi at Ferozpur was a clear indicator of reign of terror and complete breakdown of law and order in Punjab. The state police is choosing to remain either a mute spectator in most cases or is hand-in-glove with the SAD-BJP government…”

Sukhraj murder: PYC demands transfer of DIG

Tarn Taran: The Punjab Youth Congress activists Monday held a protest outside Tarn Taran SSP’s office demanding transfer of DIG border range over his “controversial” remarks following the murder of the party block president Sukhraj Singh. The activists’ led by PYC president Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary demanded immediate removal of DIG P S Umranangal even as they accused the police of delaying the case by failing to arrest all the accused. “We strongly condemn the disgraceful statements of DIG Umranangal in which he said that the main accused Sarwan Singh was not present at the site where Sukhraj was killed in broad daylight. His presence will hamper the free investigation of the case,” Chaudhary said,demanding immediate transfer of DIG. The youth Congress also gave the police time till may 20 to arrest all the accused in the case. On May 8,block president Sukhraj Singh was shot dead allegedly by four Akali supporters at Patti Assembly constituency. Two of them were nabbed by police so far.

Manish Tewari,Bajwa get ‘Z’ security cover

Union Minister Manish Tewari and Punjab Congress President Paratap Singh Bajwa are the new entrants to the VIP security club with the Home Ministry approving ‘Z’ category cover to them,officials said Monday

Tewari,a Congress MP from Ludhiana,has been accorded the enhanced security entailing armed commandos during his movements across the country. Bajwa,who recently became Punjab PCC chief,will also get the same security.

The Ministry of Home Affairs,in its order issued recently,has asked Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to ensure their protection. The force has been asked to deploy 28 commandos from its specialised VIP/VVIP security unit based in Uttar Pradesh for each of the new protectees.

Under the ‘Z’ category security,a person is provided proximate security along with a pilot and an escort vehicle anywhere in the country.

While Tewari will get the ‘Z’ category protection throughout the country,Bajwa will enjoy it in Punjab.

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