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Punjab Congress welcomes single-day poll schedule

Congress had been demanding poll schedule announcement for the past several weeks in view of the "continuing misuse of official authority" by the Akali government, Sunil Jakhar said.

By: PTI | Chandigarh |
January 4, 2017 8:38:35 pm
Punjab polls, Punjab elections, Punjab Assembly elections, Punjab Congress, Akali-BJP, Badal government, Punjab CM, Badal family, indian express news Punjab Pradesh Committee spokesperson, Sunil Jakhar. (Express Archive)

Hailing the single-day schedule for Assembly polls announced by the Election Commission, Punjab Congress on Wednesday said the limited time available for canvassing for votes would help cut down on “unnecessary expenditure”. Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) spokesperson Sunil Jakhar said his party, in fact, had been in favour of early elections.

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Congress had been demanding poll schedule announcement for the past several weeks in view of the “continuing misuse of official authority” by the Akali government, Sunil Jakhar said. Referring to the political appointments made by the SAD-BJP government on daily basis allegedly in a bid to hide its “own failures and woo the electorate”, he said all such appointments made in the last three months would be reviewed by the Congress once it comes to power.

The party state vice-president said salaries and pensions were not being disbursed to government employees on the pretext of “lack of funds” in the state treasury, whereas the ruling Akali Dal was “wasting government funds to promote their vested political interests”. “With an intent to influence people in favour of SAD, the leaders of the ruling Akali Dal are distributing grants to Panchayats and sports kits to the youth,” Jakhar said. Just to get political mileage ahead of the crucial Assembly elections, even incomplete government projects are being inaugurated, he claimed.

Jakhar said he vows to expose the “scams of the Akali-BJP government” so that action could be initiated against the guilty. The Punjab Congress has urged the Election Commission to ensure stringent implementation of the Code of Conduct in Punjab, where the Badal-led Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has allegedly “unleashed a campaign of terror and corruption, resulting in total law and order breakdown in the state”.

Welcoming the imposition of the Code of Conduct, the PPCC said the “goonda raj” perpetuated by the Badal family and their associates over the past few months had brought the state to the brink of ruination in the run-up to the Assembly elections. People in the state were living under a constant “shadow of fear”, with the situation having escalated to critical levels in recent weeks, PPCC leaders Ajit Inder Mofar, Ranjit K Bhatti and Manjit Singh Jhalbuti said.

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