Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today asked the Election Commission to take emergent steps to stop large scale distribution of illegal liquor by the Congress party in Shahkot and stop Congress goons from intimidating voters to ensure a free and fair by-poll.In a statement here, the SAD president said few days after the party gave photographic evidence of unlicensed liquor bottles which were being distributed in Shahkot by the Congress party, a truck load of the same which was being taken to Shahkot constituency under escort had been seized at Baghapurana last night. He said the liquor was the same - First Choice which was manufactured by former Congress minister Rana Gurjit’s distillery about which a complaint had been submitted to the EC earlier.“The chief electoral officer said the charge could not be substantiated by the SAD. Now the people have proved the charge by seizing the truck after deflating it’s tires. It is high time the EC acts on this matter and stops Congress goons from distributing liquor which could endanger the lives of the people because it did not have any excise permit.
The SAD president also disclosed that the police and civil administration was not doing its duty. He said the liquor which was being taken to Shahkot was being led by an escort vehicle. He said even after the truck was seized by people who had got disgusted by constant flow of truck loads of illegal liquor to Shahkot, the police was reluctant to take any action on the issue due to pressure from the Congress party. “Even in Shahkot nothing is being done to check illegal movement of money by the Congress party”, he added.Mr Badal said this was not all. “An atmosphere of fear and terror has been created at Shahkot. Police officials are being sent to the houses of Sarpanches, panchayat members, municipal councillors and even tradesmen to brow beat them into supporting the candidature of Congressman Hardev Laadi who is a known bad element. “The EC should act immediately and intervene to rectify the situation or the purpose of a fear and fair poll will be defeated”.
The SAD president said earlier also despite a criminal case being registered against Congress candidate Hardev Laadi for extortion and indulging in illegal sand mining no action had been taken against him. “Instead the brave SHO who registered the FIR against Laadi and who had earlier being awarded the commendation disc for exemplary policing, was rendered mad and shifted out”. Thanking the people for the overwhelming response given to the SAD and it’s candidate Naib Singh Kohar during the entire election campaign and the outpouring of support during the party’s road show yesterday, Mr Badal urged them to remain strong to ensure democracy prevailed. “I urge the people to unite to teach a lesson to the tainted Congress candidate as well as the non- performing party for betraying each and every section of society during the last more than one year of governance”. He also made a special appeal to the women voters of Shahkot to save democracy by coming out in large numbers to defeat the Congress for trying to buy their vote”.