Punjab Chief Electoral Officer Seeks Reports on Allegations of BJP Candidates Being Obstructed from Campaigning

Punjab's BJP leaders raised concerns with the CEO over law and order, claiming their candidates faced obstacles during campaigning. They alleged collusion by the AAP and other parties. The BJP requested an action report from the DGP. Earlier, BJP leader Jakhar claimed party nominees were forced to withdraw from campaigns due to protests, expressing apprehension over the safety of candidates. The BJP delegation submitted a complaint letter highlighting their concerns and requested intervention to ensure fair elections. The CEO directed the DGP to submit a fact-finding and action taken report on the matter.

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 06-05-2024 17:49 IST | Created: 06-05-2024 17:49 IST
Punjab Chief Electoral Officer Seeks Reports on Allegations of BJP Candidates Being Obstructed from Campaigning
  • Country:
  • India

The Punjab chief electoral officer Monday sought an action taken report from the state DGP after a BJP delegation raised concern over the law and order situation, claiming that its party candidates were being prevented from campaigning in the state.

The delegation of the BJP leaders, led by state unit chief Sunil Jakhar submitted a memorandum to Punjab Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sibin C, claiming that the state machinery has miserably failed to ensure the right of campaign of the BJP candidates in the poll fray.

It also raised concern over the conduct of free and fair elections and the right to campaign. They expressed apprehension on the safety of their candidates during elections in the state.

The delegation submitted a detailed complaint letter and subsequently, the CEO asked the DGP to submit a fact-finding and action taken report in this regard, according to an official statement.

Earlier, Jakhar sought the intervention of the CEO, claiming that the party nominees were ''being forced to withdraw from campaigns''.

Jakhar expressed the apprehension on the ''possible collusion'' of the ruling AAP and other parties in causing obstructions and encumbrances in the campaign of the BJP candidates.

The BJP candidates and leaders have been facing protests from the farmers while campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls.

As part of the protests, the farmers ask questions to the BJP leaders and show them black flags for not agreeing to their demands.

Without providing an equal platform to campaign, the election process will be rendered futile, claimed Jakhar, who was flanked by party leaders Parminder Brar and Vineet Joshi.

''While the BJP has always stood for the rights of the farmers believing in dialogue as the way forward, such unchecked protests against the BJP candidates, who are being forced to withdraw from campaigns in parts of Punjab, can lead to unforeseeable consequences and untoward incidents of violence and clashes,'' Jakhar said in the memorandum.

''The possibility of anti-social elements sneaking in under the garb of the farmer protest and creating havoc cannot be ruled out. This would vitiate the elections rendering both the process and the final outcome unfair,'' he said.

Jakhar said if the election machinery does not intervene to check this ''well-planned conspiracy'' against the BJP, it will vitiate the elections rendering both the process and the final outcome unfair.

''This epistle is to bring to your notice and highlight our apprehension of a well-calibrated 'sponsored' denial of the right of the BJP candidates to campaign in Punjab in the backdrop of the deteriorating law and order situation under the incumbent AAP government led by Bhagwant Mann,'' said Jakhar.

He alleged that the law and order is deteriorating in Punjab and underlined that the ongoing disruptions are denying the BJP candidates their right to campaign.

''It remains the responsibility of the Punjab Electoral Office, the state administrative and the police apparatus to ensure the BJP candidates have unhindered access to every part to exert their democratic right to campaign,'' he said.

However, he added, dozens of incidents in the recent past and the latest incident in Patiala, where a farmer died falling on his own on a road during the campaign of BJP candidate (from Patiala) Preneet Kaur, need immediate attention.

The apprehension of ''collusion'' of the political parties including the AAP, the SAD and the Congress in scripting such ''disruptions'' for the BJP candidates looms large, Jakhar said.

The state machinery, he added, cannot act as a ''conduit'' to facilitate such obstructions.

Jakhar said these parties are clearly ''rattled'' by the increasing footprints of the BJP in Punjab.

He further said, ''We would also like to bring to your notice the recent statement of Punjab Advocate General Gurminder Singh before the Supreme Court where he flagged security issues in the state underlining the threat perception that exists.

''He cited the case of the murder of singer-turned-politician Sidhu Moosewala who was killed days after his security cover was downgraded and publicized. He also made a reference to an RPG attack. In light of this, safety of BJP candidates is paramount and the office of CEO Punjab should ensure this,'' said Jakhar.

The Punjab BJP president said the protests undertaken by the farmers are a legitimate tool, but need to be exercised with restraint and caution given that the candidates too have their right to campaign and access to the villages.

While the BJP does not want to foresee any escalation or repeat of such incidents, the present situation on ground if not checked has the potential to spiral out of control, resulting in derailing or unsettling the election process in Punjab, he added.

Jakhar said, ''The state DGP, chief secretary need to be put on notice for lapses that are leading to obstruction in the BJP campaign and resulting in amplified threat to the security of party candidates in the poll fray.'' Protests and obstructions during the elections cannot take place without prior permission and notice, he said, lamenting what was happening at the ground level augments the BJP's apprehensions of a ''sponsored link'' to the ongoing disruptions.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback