The Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday said that he had no objection to the Election Commission deploying paramiltary forces to ensure peaceful Shahkot bypoll.

The CM urged the EC to take any steps it deemed necessary to ensure a free and fair by-election in Shahkot. CM’s disclosure came a day after the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) demanded the EC to deploy paramilitary forces at Shahkot Assembly area.

Amarinder Singh said it was ironical that the Akalis, who had abused all the democratic systems during their own regime, using all possible tools to prevent the Congress from taking over the state’s reins.

The CM said the Akalis were now running to the EC to seek paramilitary forces to ensure peaceful polls. But neither he personally nor his government would oppose any decision by the EC to pull paramilitary forces into the Shahkot election security system, said the CM in a press statement issued on Saturday.

“The Akalis were in the habit of complaining of government interference and alleging violation of the model code of conduct before and after every election,” CM said.

Amarinder Singh claimed Akalis were in a state of total panic and were grabbing at any and every straw to sway public sentiment in their favour.
He further claimed that Akalis had been thoroughly exposed for their anti-people stance. “They (Akalis) were once again desperately deploying to divert voter attention from their own misdoings during their decade-long rule,” Amarinder said.

The CM further alleged that SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal’s support of Mehtapur Station House Officer (SHO) Parminder Singh Bajwa was part of the Akali campaign to malign the Congress leadership and government ahead of the bypoll. On Friday, the SAD had requested the EC to order the deployment of paramilitary forces to ensure peaceful elections.

In a letter submitted to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), SAD accused that CM was threatening his own officers with regard to the conduct of the Shahkot bypoll. SAD has requested the EC to depute a high powered team to Shahkot following the arrest of SHO Parminder Singh Bajwa.