Congress demands President's Rule in Punjab

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New Delhi, May 16 (UNI) Alleging complete breakdown of law and order and constitutional scheme of governance, the Punjab Unit of the Congress today appealed to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil to impose President's rule in the state.

In a memorandum to Ms Patil, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) leaders, led by President Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, charged the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) with subverting the electoral process right from the commencement of the nomination for the Block Samitis and Zila Parishad, the election to which was held on May 12.

A copy of the memorandum was released by AICC spokesman Shakeed Ahmed at the routine briefing at AICC headquarters.

The party alleged that Block Samiti and Zila Parishad members who wanted to contest elections were not granted 'No Objection Certificates' by the Block Development Officers on Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's instructions.

Other Congress members who managed to file their nominations faced arbitrary rejection of nomination papers and yet others were simply coerced to withdraw from the contest, it said.

It complained that the Congress workers across the state were not only brutally beaten up but three people were shot at and killed.

More than 2,000 workers were hospitalised across the state.

''Democracy was reduced to a complete farce with polls turning into a one-party (SAD) affair,'' the PPCC alleged.

The party said there was a complete breakdown of law and order and constitutional scheme of governance in Punjab, adding that ''except for a pre-emptive imposition of President's rule, there is no other way of improving the situation.'' UNI SH SKB BD2022

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