PPCC demands cancellation of civic elections

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Patiala, Jul 2 (UNI) Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal today demanded that all the civic and panchayat elections held recently should be cancelled and election commission should order the fresh elections in the state.

Addressing a press conference here along with other Congress leaders she alleged that state election commission had become "puppet" in the hands of the state government as it was not ready to redress the grievances of opposition party.

She, however, accepted that Punjab Youth Congress has become ineffective and has failed to face the attacks by the Shiromani Akali Dal's SOI during elections.

She said that besides reorganising the youth wing of the party, the Punjab Congress would soon create the 'Self Protection Group' in the state to protect members of the party from the attacks by "ruling party's goons".

"These so-called SOI workers, armed with all kinds of weapons, thronged the constituencies to scare away Congress polling agents, workers and even voters, so that they could cast bogus votes to rig the elections," Ms Bhattal alleged.

"We went to the state election and human rights commissions, and even knocked the doors of the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the violence let loose by the Akalis during the recent block samiti, zila parishad and gram panchayat elections. While we got little relief, the Akalis became more violent with every election," Ms Bhattal said.

UNI XC PS BK1859

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