Thursday, June 19, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Panchayat poll as scheduled, says AG
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
The orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court suggesting reconsideration of reservation of gram panchayats as per guidelines notwithstanding, the Punjab Government will go ahead with the panchayat elections as scheduled.

Talking to The Tribune over the telephone from Delhi, the Punjab Advocate-General, Mr Harbhagwan Singh, clarified today that his argument that once the election process had been set in motion, elections could not be postponed was upheld by the court. “We are examining the judgement and we may go in for a special leave petition (SLP) against certain portions of the order. As of now, the election process will be completed”, he added.

The State Election Commissioner, Mr C.L. Bains, said the high court orders were being examined and legal opinion had been sought from the Advocate-General. The commission was, however, going ahead with the election schedule as announced.

Meanwhile, people from various parts of the state continue to turn up at the office of the State Election Commissioner with complaints regarding the deletion of their names from revised voters’ lists. Hundreds of people met Mr Bains in his office today for inclusion of their names in the revised lists.

Mr Gurmail Singh, Sarpanch of Banwala village, near Banur, said his party had decided to put up Mrs Manvir Kaur for the post of Sarpanch. However, her name did not figure in the voters’ list.

Mr Prem Singh, a member of panchayat from Daska village, said that his party had put up Sukhwinder Singh for the post of Sarpanch. But the names of his 50 supporters were found missing from the fresh list.

Officials of the Commissioner’s office said that most of the complaints were pertaining to the deletion of names from the lists. They said complaints had been referred back to the officers concerned in various districts for appropriate action. People from districts like Ferozepore, Gurdaspur etc turned up at the office of the Commissioner with similar complaints.

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