BJP files complaint with the SEC, demands repolls in Patiala, Ghagga
Police was in cahoots with Congress, intimidated Akali-BJP candidates: BJP
Chandigarh, December 17, 2017: Enraged over the widespread incidents of violence, rigging, booth-capturing and intimidation of Akali-BJP candidates, workers and polling agents, during the local bodies elections, the Punjab BJP today demanded a repoll in Patiala, Ghagga and some wards in Mullanpur Dakha and Jalandhar.
Punjab BJP vice-president, Anil Sarin, and secretary, Vineet Joshi handed a written complaint to State Election Commissioner, Jagpal Singh Sandhu, also alleging that the police was in cahoots with the Congress.
The BJP in its complaint said that Punjab Police which was deployed to ensure free and fair poling in Patiala, instead acted as workers of the ruling Congress party and indulged in booth-capturing in many wards.
Sarin and Joshi complained that the police in Patiala intimidated Akali-BJP candidates, slapped and threatened polling agents and workers, and also shooed away the voters. In some place the police lathi-charged voters who were peacefully standing in a queue without even sparing women and the elderly.
The BJP also expressed its anger over the absence of election observers, reminding the SEC of its earlier complaint wherein it had requested deployment of para-military forces and independent poll observers from neighbouring states. Video cameras of State election Commission were also turned off, they said.
In Ghagga, the BJP said, Congress workers with the help of police captured all the polling booths. Similarly, in Mullanpur all the polling booths of ward no. 5 were captured. In Jalandhar, the polling officers slowed down the polling process after the visit of local MLA, Sushil Kumar Rinku, the BJP stated.
Also, in Amritsar, the Congress workers were seen violating the election code of conduct by openly campaigning for their candidates in ward no. 9 and 22.
Demanding a repoll, the BJP leaders said that central armed forces and election observers from other states be deployed for the same. The BJP also sought immediate action against the erring police and administrative officials.