Punjab Democratic Party(PDP) has demanded from Election Commission of India (ECI) to take action against ruling Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) for misuse of buses of state transport, the Punjab roadways and PRTC for religious and political purposes.Er.Gurkirpal Singh President of PDP in a statement said that SAD should be asked to pay the expenses incurred on pilgrimage. He said that SAD had sent 140 buses of PRTC and about 60 buses of Punjab Roadways to Patna Sahib in Bihar carrying party workers for the celebrations of birth centenary of Guru Gobind Singh ji. The SAD-BJP government had caused a loss of Rs.300 crores to PRTC and Punjab Roadways. The state government had earlier used these buses for Chief Minister Tirath Yatra scheme and the expenses of Rs.130 crores incurred on plying of buses were not reimbursed so far. Er. Gurkirpal Singh said that the Badal government had sent pilgrims to Patna Sahib from selective 46 assembly seats to woo the voters.
He said that misuse of public money for political purposes was bad precedent and also against the spirit of Supreme Court's recent order of not using religion for elections. He said that the employees of PRTC and Punjab Roadways had also approached the ECI but the buses were flagged off a day before model code of election was imposed.He said that Badal family owns fleet of over 500 buses and not even a single bus was sent for Tirath Yatra or Patna Sahib celebrations. He said that if Badal family was so religious minded then why they are not spending funds from their own pocket. He said that the use of religion for electoral gains was PDP President appealed to ECI to credit the expenses of buses used for pilgrimage in the account of SAD or in the account of SAD candidates from whose constituencies the people have been taken for pilgrimage. He said that it was blatant misuse of government machinery by ruling party. Besides huge financial loss to PRTC and Punjab Roadways, the daily commuters have also been facing problem since PRTC and Punjab Roadways have withdrawn buses from regular routes. He said that private transporters would be gaining due to absence of state transport buses.