Chandigarh, March 17: Punjab’s opposition Congress Monday sought action against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Shiromani Akali Dal for violating the poll code during a religious activity in the state’s Anandpur Sahib town.
In a complaint to the chief election commissioner, the Congress said Badal and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal went ahead and violated the election model code of conduct despite the Election Commission’s specific instructions not to hold a political conference at Anandpur Sahib during the Hola Mohalla religious celebration.
Congress spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira said the Akali Dal held a political conference at a site provided by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
The conference was held close to Gurdwara Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib, 85 km from here, as lakhs of devotees converged for the three-day Hola Mohalla religious congregation. The gurdwara there is the second most important shrine of Sikh religion after Harmandar Sahib, popularly known as Golden Temple, in Amritsar.
Khaira noted that the poll panel had issued specific instructions to political parties not to hold political conferences at sites near the shrine during Hola Mohalla.
“As per the order of ECI, no political party could use any religious premises for the purpose of holding a conference. Defying all directions of the ECI, the SAD headed by Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, held its political conference at Anandpur Sahib, on premises provided by the SGPC yesterday (Sunday),” the complaint stated.
The Congress and other political parties had cancelled their political conferences at Anandpur Sahib in view of the EC directions.
Khaira said that the chief minister not only violated the EC directions and made a political speech on the occasion, but he even criticised the poll panel for trying to stop the conference.
“Action should be taken against them for misusing religious places for canvassing and influencing voters in the name of religion,” the complaint said.