Concerns Regarding Assembly Elections in Punjab – 13/12/2011

Dr S Y Quarishi
Chief Election Commissioner
Nirvachan Sadan,
Ashoka Road,

New Delhi-110001

13 December 2011

Dear Dr Quarishi

Concerns Regarding Assembly Elections in Punjab

I hope to stand for the new Dakha constituency in the 2012 Punjab Assembly Elections. However, in regard elections in Punjab I like to draw your attention to the following three main issues and seek investigation and assistance from the Election Commission in this regard:

1. Security provided to goondas belonging to ruling SAD party

Large number of security personnel are provided both officially and unofficially to Akali (SAD) supporters. Many of these individuals have highly suspicious backgrounds and the reasons for provision of security details are spurious. Kindly arrange for all unauthorised security personnel to be withdrawn immediately and cancel all permission for security cover granted within the last 90 days to those that have no legal provision.

2. Weapons licences

There has been a surge in the grant of arms licences in 2011, in addition to the number of illegal unregistered weapons held. This Government has granted excessive numbers of fresh licences to SAD supporters, again from highly dubious and suspicious backgrounds. Kindly arrange for all licences issued in 2011 to be suspended until formation of the next Government in 2012.

3. Deletion of pages from voters lists at polling booths

I have encountered this matter in the past and would not wish for it to happen again. Historically in Punjab, every outgoing SAD administration has ensured that full pages are deleted from the electoral rolls relating to areas where the majority are Congress supporters. Having previously checked names are on a list, the voters discover on polling day they are no longer listed, the whole page they were on having been removed. The presiding officer then admits the error and apologises saying there is nothing that can be done. The Election Commission needs to take immediate steps to counter this long-established Akali malpractice. A recently issued voter ID card should be accepted irrespective of whether the voters name appears on the voters list or not.

In light of the above and the general state of tension in Punjab currently, I would plead with you for an early imposition of the Model Code of Conduct in the State. There is currently no effective governance in Punjab, simply the rule of criminals. There is an overriding climate of fear and intimidation and Model Code of Conduct would bring genuine relief to many citizens.

Kind regards,

Jassi Khangura MLA

Halqa Qila Raipur

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