Traffic violations, road blockades, bottlenecks to diversions on the National Highway (Ferozepur road), Ludhiana witnessed it all as the city was bought to a standstill by Congress workers while sitting MP Ravneet Singh Bittu filed his nomination papers Thursday.
While Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh did not accompany Bittu, some policemen on traffic duty were heard telling people “Etho nahi jaa sakde, Maharaja saab aaye hoye ne (You cannot go from this road, Maharaja (Capt) is here)”. The police diverted traffic from Sidhwan Canal on Ferozepur road to Aarti Chowk via Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) as commuters were stuck in jams for at least 4-5 hours till Bittu’s road show and nomination did not end. Only vehicles bearing party flags and Bittu’s posters were being allowed to pass by the traffic cops towards mini-secretariat (cum district election office).
In a show of power, the entire road towards mini-secretariat was dotted with Bittu’s posters and hoardings as he arrived in the 1985-model White Ambassador of his grandfather and former Punjab CM Beant Singh. AICC in-charge Punjab affairs Asha Kumari accompanied Bittu. Tarun Rattan, ADCP traffic Ludhiana, said that traffic on NHAI and other roads was diverted not for candidate’s convenience but that of the masses. “Apprehending heavy jam and inconvenience, we diverted the routes. It wasn’t for benefit of a candidate but for the common commuters,” the ADCP said.
Assistant returning officer west Jiwanjot Kaur said that permission was taken for roadshow from 12 noon to 4 pm but if any code of conduct violations were found, action will be taken. “Our videography team has recorded the entire show. The video will be checked for any violations.”