M A I N   N E W S

Offices of Profit
EC puts Punjab CM, 37 Cong MLAs on notice
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
With less than three months to go for the 12th Punjab Vidhan Sabha to complete its term, 37 members of the ruling Congress Legislature Party (CLP), allegedly holding “offices of profit”, have received show-cause notices from the Election Commission of India.

The notices have been issued under Section 146 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, on a petition filed by senior leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). They have been asked to file written replies on the allegations made against them in the petition by December 8.

While the SAD leaders were elated at the issuance of notices, the ruling party members dismissed it as a “routine exercise which will have little political implications.”

“We also have cases, including election petitions, against the SAD MLAs which are at different levels of legal adjudication,” remarked a senior Congress leader.

Each of the 37 Congress MLAs, including the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, will be required to file an affidavit, besides submitting copies of documents in support of their arguments.

The notices have been issued just before the ruling party could start the second phase of its Vikas Yatra from Attari on Wednesday.

SAD had submitted the petition to the Governor of Punjab, Gen S.F. Rodrigues, which was referred to the Election Commission of India on April 10 this year.

The commission, after hearing from the MLAs, would give its opinion to the Governor on their disqualification.

The Congress MLAs have also been given an option that they can be heard in person or even through a lawyer in support of their response to the notices. In case the MLAs want personal hearing, they will be given dates by the commission.

Those served notices include some serving and old members of the Council of Ministers, Chief Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Secretaries, besides those who are chairpersons of various boards and corporations of the state.

Interestingly, besides the Chief Minister, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi and Mrs Harbans Kaur Dullo, wife of the president of the PPCC, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, also figure on the list.

The others are Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi (who has since resigned as Parliamentary Secretary), Dr Harbans Lal, Rana K.P. Singh, Mr Parkash Singh, Dr Raj Kumar Verka, Mrs Razia Sultana, Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Mr Sunil Jakhar, Mr Surinder Dabur, Mr Ashwani Sekhri, Mr Hans Raj Josan, Mr Rakesh Pandey, Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal, Mr Joginder Singh Mann, Mr Shavinder Singh Kathunangal,, Mrs Aruna Chaudhary, Mr H.S. Thekedar, Mr Ram Lubhaya, Mr Randeep Singh, Mr O.P. Soni, Mr Gurjant Kuttiwal, Mr Komal Chand, Dr Mohinder Kumar Rinwa, Mr Ashok Sharma, Mr Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Mr Jasbir Singh Gill, Mr Ravinder Singh Sandhu, Mr Kanwaljit Singh Lalli, Ms Gurkanwal Kaur, Mr Jugal Kishore Sharma, Mr Parkash Singh Bhatti, Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri and Mr Randeep Singh Nabha.



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