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Punjab Govt
May 24, 2008



Chandigarh May 24, 2008

The State Election Commission, Punjab today postponed the general elections to 57 Gram Panchayats in twelve districts, which were scheduled to be held on 26th May in the state. Besides this, three election officers have been removed.

Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the State Election Commission, Punjab said that exercising the powers vested with the State Election Commission under Article 243K and 243N of the Constitution of India, the polls to fifty-seven Gram Panchayats namely Gram Panchayat Mahiuldinpur and Gram Panchayat Khunda in district Gurdaspur, Gram Panchayat Bhanra. Gram Panchayat Khalaspur, Gram Panchayat Bhunarheri and Gram Panchayat Bhanri in district Patiala, Gram Panchayats Pamal, Gram Panchayat Pamali and Gram Panchayat Kanganwal in district Ludhiana, Gram Panchayat Kila Jeewan Singh Wala, Gram Panchayat Chattiwind, Gram Panchayat Cluster No.3 Block Jandiala Guru and Gram Panchayat Mehta Chowk in district Amritsar, Gram Panchayat Chakk Kharak Singh Wala, Gram Panchayat Doomwali, Gram Panchayat Talab Nehar Basti No.(1,4,5) and Talab Nehar Basti (2,3) in district Bathinda, Gram Panchayat Dheena in district Jalandhar, Gram Panchayat Ajnali and Gram Panchayat Naulakha in district Fathegarh Sahib, Gram Panchayat Kakrali in district SAS Nagar, Gram Panchayat Lohat in district Nawan Shahr, Gram Panchayats Talwandi Nepala, Kamalgarh, Mansoorwala, Achhewala, Nathu Chiasi, Chak Jameet Singh Wala, Jhandu, Chawarian wali, Megha Rai Uttar, Khawaja Khara, Lakhewala, Shateer wala, Muradwala Boomgarh, Dhani Harcharn Singh Randhawa, Sabuanna, Bandiwala, Shiwana, Ramsukhpura, Tillaan wali, Kheeu wali Dhabh, Baj Singh, Walla Kalan, Basti Sohan, Basti Saon Singh, Killi, Khundar Hithar and Bharrana in district Ferozpur, Gram Panchayats Kotli Saru Khan, Jatti Umra, Sangar Kot, Nagoke, Sanger Kalan, Chak Kare Khan and Mandala in district Tarn Tarn and Gram Panchayat Badhni Kalan rural Distt. Moga have postponed by the Commission and fresh election schedule would be communicated separately.

He added that Additional District Electoral Officer, Gurdaspur had submitted to the Commission that the Returning Officer Jarnail Singh Secretary, Market Committee had rejected the nomination papers of the complainant with malafide intention. The poll process of Gram Panchayat Khunda Block Dhariwal was countermanded and has been vitiated by the malafide, irresponsible and illegal acts of Returning Officer. He would be charge sheeted for major penalty. Disciplinary action for imposition of major penalty would be initiated against the Returning Officer.

In another case the Commission has concluded that serious irregularities were committed by Sh. Gurbax Singh, Returning Officer, Khadoor Sahib Group-IV and could not be rectified at this stage. The poll process has been vitiated. Accordingly, general elections to seven Gram Panchayats in district Tarn Tarn were countermanded. Returning Officer has acted in irresponsible, malafide and wrong manner, therefore he would be immediately suspended and charge sheeted for major penalty.

He said that on the report of Election Observer the Commission has concluded that the affidavits were removed from the nomination files as the Returning Officer Sh. Mujnhial Singh Agriculture Development Officer had connived with the one party of Village Mahiuldinpur in district Gurdaspur and shrewdly hatched the conspiracy. The election to Village Mahiuldinpur was countermanded. Returning Officer would be immediately suspended and charge sheeted for major penalty. Appropriate action under the election Act/IPC against the Returning Officer would be taken by the Deputy Commkissioner, Gurdaspur.

"My residence is no Maharaja's palace. Everyone is welcome here", says the CM

Chandigarh May 24, 2008

The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today strongly condemned even the symbolic action of the UT administration against some Congress legislators who had come to his official residence in Chandigarh this morning. In a statement, Mr. Badal described the UT action as totally unnecessary, especially after the Punjab government had officially conveyed it to them that the Congress legislators were welcome to move even inside the CM's residence as 'good democratic guests.'

"My residence is no Maharaja's palace. It represents the poor men's hopes and dreams. Everybody is welcome here," said Mr. Badal in a statement here.

Mr. Badal said that he could understand the frustration generated in the minds of the Congress leaders in the wake of their humiliating defeat in each and every election since February 2007 but " I will defend their right to give this frustration any peaceful expression. I have fought for democracy and human rights and battled against repression all my life and that is why I had thrown my doors open to my agitating rivals. I had specially deputed my Media Advisor, Mr. Harcharan Bains, who enjoys the rank of a minister, to extend all hospitality to the visitors and I am pleased that no effort was spared in looking after the few Congressmen who came to my residence led by the Leader of the Opposition this morning."

The Chief Minister said that he did not mind the "over-excited conduct of our Congress friends at my residence. It is completely understandable. Most of them had never been allowed to get anywhere near the Chief Minister's residence when Captain Amarinder Singh held fort. So, naturally, they got a bit excited at the very prospect of being allowed free access to the place."

Mr. Badal said that he would officially convey to the UT administration his "disapproval of and unhappiness over" even their symbolic action . About Mrs. Bhatthal's statement that she would come again on May 29, Mr. Badal said, "Why wait till May 29. I will be in Chandigarh tomorrow evening itself. They are welcome any moment. If they think the issue is urgent, they should come at the earliest. "

Meanwhile, Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains said that the Congressmen actually burnt "the effigy of democracy" in Chandigarh this morning. . Addressing a crowded press conference at the Chief Minister's residence, Mr. Bains said that the Chief Minister had been pained at the manner in which 'our Congress friends' turned down our Punjabi hospitality." He said that all arrangements had been made right from early morning to treat 'our friends in the opposition absolute democratic magnanimity, setting aside all political differences. We had arranged chairs for everyone, including a VIP chair for Mrs. Bhathal and one the former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. It is sad that he could not come. But since our Congress friends were coming to the residence of Chief Minister, we owed it to the spirit of Punjabi culture to be good hosts, regardless of what kind of guests they decided to be."

Mr. Bains had been directed to be present at the CM's residence from 5 (five) a.m., the time when Mr. Badal usually starts his day. Shamianas had been put up both outside and inside the CM's residence for the benefit of the visitors. Mr. Bains, along with Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema, Advisor to CM, waited for nearly two hours for the congress contingent to arrive. When the Congress legislators, led by Mrs. Bhathal arrived at the site, Mr. Bains went to her with folded hands, requesting her to come inside the CM's residence. When she led her men towards the CM's residence, Mr. Bains ordered all gates to be thrown open. Cold water followed by tea and snacks were offered to the visitors, and although they refused to accept, Mr. Bains insisted that the SAD-led government would still be guided by the spirit of Bhai Kanaiya.

Mr. Bains said that the Congressmen did not clarify any of their demands and confined their visit to mere slogan shouting and the 'gimmick of burning an effigy of democracy. They very well knew in the heart of their hearts that no government other than Mr. Badal's has ever treated its rivals with such grace and dignity. It is sad that our guests were not equal to it."




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