The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)on Monday urged the Election Commission (EC) to deploy paramilitary forces in Punjab to ensure the smooth conduct of the upcoming bye-elections in four assembly constituencies in the state.
The SAD delegation led by former minister Daljit Singh Cheema also demanded videography to be conducted in all booths to ensure free and fair elections.
Cheema, post the delegation's meeting with the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Karuna Raju, alleged that the Congress party was creating an atmosphere of fear in the four assembly constituencies with the aim of influencing the poll results as they had done in the case of elections to municipal and local bodies.
Cheema said adequate paramilitary forces needed to be deployed to thwart Congress' alleged attempts and also demanded an increase in the number of election observers.
Cheema added that the CEO had assured the SAD delegation that videography will be conducted and micro election observers, who are central government employees, would be posted at all booths.
SAD also demanded the immediate transfer of an SHO from Dakha, Ludhiana district, alleging he was closely associated with the Congress, and to launch a high-level inquiry into his acts of misconduct to ensure free and fair polls.
SAD president's political secretary Charanjit Singh Brar, Arshdeep Singh Kler from the SAD legal cell and Chandigarh SAD President Hardeep Singh Butrela were also a part of the delegation which met the CEO.
By-elections to four vacant assembly seats Phagwara, Jalalabad, Dakha and Mukerian in Punjab will be held on October 21.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)