No objection to central forces for bypoll: Amarinder
Chandigarh, May 12 : Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday welcomed the suggestion for deployment of central para-military forces for the Shahkot assembly by-election.In a statement here on Saturday, he said that deployment of central forces would deprive the Opposition, particularly the Shiromani Akali Dal, of the chance to accuse the state government of interference.
"I have no objection to the EC (Election Commission) deploying paramilitary forces to ensure peace during the bypoll, as demanded by the Akalis. I welcome any such move as it would deprive the Akalis of the opportunity to take refuge in the frivolous and fabricated excuse of misuse of official machinery after the result of the bypoll, which they are all set to lose ignominiously," Amarinder said.
The Chief Minister said that the Akalis were in the habit of complaining of government interference and alleging violation of the model code of conduct before and after every election.
"With the writing on the wall once again pointing to a certain Congress victory in Shahkot, the Akalis were in a state of total panic and were grabbing at any and every straw to sway public sentiment in their favour," he added.
The Shakot bypoll, scheduled to be held on May 28, has been mired in controversy over a case being registered by a SHO (station house officer) against the official candidate of the ruling Congress, Hardev Singh Ladi, following a complaint of illegal mining in the area.
The SHO was on Friday removed from the post by the EC and replaced by another officer. The controversial SHO, Parminder Singh Bajwa, was on Friday arrested by the Punjab Police after he tried to barge into a courtroom in Jalandhar with a weapon.