M A I N   N E W S

More cycles in Lambi may land Badal in poll code trouble 
Archit Watts/TNS

Muktsar, December 30
Even after enforcement of the model code of conduct for the Assembly elections, the SAD-led state government continues to purchase bicycles for schoolgirls to be distributed under its Mai Bhago Vidya Scheme.

A truck with 71 orange Atlas women cycles today reached Lambi, home constituency of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Badal is is pitted against younger brother Gurdas and cousin Mahesh Inder Singh Badal.

Copies of the invoice and freight receipt obtained by The Tribune revealed that the cycles were dispatched on Friday from Ludhiana. The Election Commission had made it clear that the government would not hand over bicycles to the students till the poll process was completed.

As per the receipts, the cycles were to be delivered to the Muktsar District Education Officer (Elementary Education). Each cycle costs Rs 2,486.25 and the consignment was worth Rs 1,76,523.75. The cycles were kept in the seminar hall of Lambi's Government Senior Secondary School.

Requesting anonymity, employees of the private transport company that brought the consignment to Lambi said similar deliveries were also dispatched for Abul Khurana and Doda villages in Muktsar district.

While District Education Officer Dharam Pal was unavailable on phone, District Electoral Officer and Muktsar Deputy Commissioner Arshdeep Singh said the cycles had been ordered before the poll code came into force.

"I have spoken to the district education officer and issued instructions that no cycle should be distributed among the students. If any such incident is reported, stern action will be taken," he said.

This was the second such incident in two days in the politically volatile Lambi constituency. Yesterday, a team of election officers was manhandled in Channu village where it had gone to verify a complaint of the Sarpanch distributing free bricks to people belonging to economically weaker sections.





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