Cong demands Presidents rule in Punjab

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Amritsar, May 16 (UNI) The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) today demanded imposition of Presidents Rule in the border state as there was a complete break down of law and order and constitutional scheme of governance in Punjab.

" The situation is such that democracy is in peril and except for pre-emptive imposition of President's rule there is no other way of returning the situation" a memorandum submitted to President Pratiba Dev Singh Patil by PPCC delegation at Delhi today stated.

Claiming that there was complete subversion of democracy and law and order in the state, the PPCC refered to the large scale violence in the just concluded polls to the Zila Parishads and the Panchayat Samitis. The memorandum alleged that Congress leaders and workers were targeted during the polls and many of them were not even allowed to file their nomination papers.

On the day of polling, the Punjab Government deployed constables and officers of the Punjab Police to unleash a reign of terror across the state, the morandum claimed. Even workers of the BJP, the alliance partner of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) were targeted, the memorandum said while claiming that democracy was reduced to a complete farce.

The memorandum also alleged that ever since the SAD-BJP came to power in the state, a large number of Congress workers were booked in false cases. The PPCC also claimed that the ruling combine had indulged in misuse of official machinery to rig the Municipal Corporation elections last year.

While pointing out that the 73rd and 74the Constitutional Amendment Act were promulgated to strengthen Democracy at the grass root level and broad base democratic processes and institutions, the Congress alleged that the State Election Commission in Punjab has behaved like a handmaiden of the Punjab Government and has colluded in subverting the electoral process.

" The PPCC is indeed surprised that the Governor who is your direct representative has not apprised you with the ominous situation that is fast evolving in Punjab", the memorandum stated.

The delegation led by PPCC chief Rajinder Kaur Bhattal comprised Mohinder Singh Kay Pee, working president of the state unit, central ministers Ambika Soni and Ashwani Kumar, Jagmeet Singh Brar, Rana Gurjit Singh, MP, Manish Tewari, Secretary, AICC, Iqbal Singh, Secretary, AICC, Praneet Kaur, MP, former PPCC chiefs Varinder Kataria, H S Hanspal, Mohinder Singh Gill and Shamsher Singh Dullo, besides Santosh Chaudhary,Bir Devinder Singh, Surinder Singla and Harnam Dass Johar.

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