The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today told the Election Commission that chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had violated the model code of conduct by conducting a press conference on the Shahkot by-poll along with senior government officials and urged it to inquire into this violation besides asking it to depute a senior Observer as well as para-military forces to ensure a free and fair bye-election.A SAD delegation led by former minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema submitted a memorandum to chief electoral officer Dr. S. Karuna Raju here and informed him that the chief minister had conducted a press conference on the Shahkot by-election on the premises of the Punjab Bhawan yesterday in which senior State government officials were in attendance. It said during the course of the conference Capt Amarinder Singh carried out a vilification campaign against his own officer, the SHO of Mehatpur, who is associated with the conduct of the Shahkot by-poll.The SAD delegation said during the course of an official meeting with senior officers, the CM also carried out political activity in connection with the Shahkot by-poll by welcoming political activists of other parties into the Congress fold, including former NRI Sabha Jalandhar President Jasbir Singh Gill. They said this joining was also presented as a boost to the Congress party on the eve of the by-poll by the chief minister.
Terming this development as a gross violation of the model code of conduct, Dr Daljit Cheema said in the same meeting the CM functioned as a spokesperson of the Congress party when he issued a clean chit to Congress candidate Hardev Singh Ladi Sherowalia while his own police has booked him for illegal mining activity. It said the entire sequence of events of May 7 should be inquired into.Asking the Election Commission to take the inquiry into the sand mining case involving Congress candidate Hardev Singh Laadi into its own hands, the memorandum also asked it to take suitable steps to ensure the local officers, including the Mehatpur police station SHO, are able to function impartially to ensure a free and fair poll. It also requested the Commission to ensure the personal safety of the SHO besides asking the Chief Minister to stop intimidating his own officers who were deployed in the conduct of the Shahkot by-poll. It also demanded an inquiry into incidents of phone tapping of political opponents of the Congress party in context of the Shahkot bye-election. in the presence members of the delegation were S. Charanjit Singh Brar, Office Secretary, SAD, S. Swaran Singh Chanrathal, President Shiromani Akali Dal Fatehgarh Sahib, S. Gurpreet Singh Raju Khanna, Halka Incharge Amloh and S. Hardeep Singh Buterla, president Shiromani Akali Dal, Chandigarh Unit.