‘Conduct polls in Punjab under Prez rule, impose model code of conduct’
Expressing concern over “worsening” law and order situation, Punjab Congress on Thursday demanded imposition of President’s rule in the state and conduct of Assembly polls under a neutral administration in single phase.
Led by Punjab Congress Chief Amarinder Singh, a party delegation on Thursday met Chief Election Commissioner Naseem Zaidi and said Model Code of Conduct should imposed in the state at earliest. In a memorandum submitted to Zaidi, the Congress alleged that law and order situation in Punjab has worsened following the Supreme Court’s judgement on Satluj-Yamuna Link canal issue, as the present SAD-BJP government had failed to defend the state’s water rights in the apex court.
“Rule of the law had become an exception in Punjab, with liquor mafia, drug trafficking and unleashing of state terror through false FIRs continuing unabated. Therefore, to conduct free and fair elections, the present government should be removed and polls be conducted by a neutral administration under President’s Rule,” Amarinder told reporters here.
With elections to the state Assembly due early next year, Punjab Congress chief sought the early intervention of the Election Commission “by imposing model code of conduct without delay to prevent further vitiation of the political, administrative and law and order environment in the state.” Apart from these, the Congress also demanded that for fair elections electronic voting machines available in Punjab should not be used for polling, immediate ban on issue of fire arm licences, as well as ban on on transfers by state administration.
Singh said he expects the election could be violent, therefore, the party has requested deployment of paramilitary forces in the inner cordon of the polling stations and cadre posts in the police department should be occupied by only IPS officers.