Cong secured win in civic polls by resorting to ‘state-sponsored repression’: SAD

Says Akali Dal emerged as main opposition with AAP consigned to fourth position in corporations

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Wednesday said the Congress had secured a win in the municipal elections by resorting to “state-sponsored repression” even as it lauded Akali workers for asserting themselves boldly and ensuring the SAD emerged as the main opposition to the corrupt and incompetent Congress.

Read also: Punjab civic poll results reaffirm Congress hold; SAD ahead of AAP; BJP takes beating

In a statement here, party spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said even as the SAD had emerged as the principal opposition party in Punjab post municipal elections despite going alone for the first time, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had been completely eradicated in the state. He said SAD candidates gave a tough fight to the Congress across the state with almost all seats witnessing a direct contest between the Congress and SAD. “The vote share of the SAD has also increased in urban areas”. He said in direct contrast AAP had been pushed to the fringes of Punjab politics. “AAP has secured the number four position in elections to the municipal corporations,” he added.

Speaking about the poll result, Cheema said, “It seems the civil machinery and the Punjab Police has won the day for the Congress along with equal help from the State Election Commission (SEC). More than 500 nomination papers of SAD candidates alone were rejected along with a couple of hundred of other parties in an attempt to make the entire election process a nomination process. This alone calls for sacking of the SEC.”

He said the Congress had seen the writing on the wall much before the polls and unleashed a systematic campaign of terror, intimidation, violence and murder.

“Strong SAD candidates were identified in advance and either their nomination papers were rejected or their booths were targeted for bogus voting and rigging. This murder of democracy will be responsible for the downfall of the Congress party in the 2022 assembly elections.”

Reacting to the claims made by Pradesh Congress president Sunil Jakhar, Cheema said “instead of thanking the people Jakhar should thank the Punjab Police which his party misused to secure this victory. Had the Congress government allowed a free and fair election then the party would have realised its true popularity among the masses”.

He also thanked the Akali rank and file for standing up to the “unprecedented repression and highhandedness of the Congress party and its goons”.

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