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Reconsider ban on election rallies & corner meetings: SAD to EC

The SAD leader said his party requests EC to reconsider the decision on total ban on corner meetings.

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

The Shiromani Akali Dal on Friday urged the Election Commission (EC) to reconsider its ban on election rallies and corner meetings in Punjab.

In a letter to EC, SAD spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said the poll panel should allow small meetings as they are a must for candidates to approach all sections of society.

Cheema said EC has imposed a ban on all election rallies, pad yatras, corner meetings etc up to 15 January which was causing great hardship to the contesting candidates of all parties.

He said that it is not possible to cover all the voters of the Assembly constituency in digital mode as there are many backward areas in the state where internet networks are not working properly.

The SAD leader said old people, which constitute a major part of the population, rarely use digital methods and people from poor sections of the society also have very little access to digital technology.

He said due to these reasons a major part of the society will remain uncovered if only digital campaigning is allowed. This will deny equal opportunities to all the voters. This will also affect the percentage of polling, Dr Cheema said adding big rallies may be banned but small meetings are a must.

He also brought to notice of EC that many parties which are contesting elections in Punjab have their governments in Punjab, Delhi or at the Centre. They are misusing government funds to promote their political interests.

“For example, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has a government in Delhi state. They are daily showing multiple development stories in the form
of paid news on various TV Channels of Punjab. He said that these paid news advertisements are aimed at influencing the voters of Punjab,” the SAD leader said.

“Since there is no code of conduct in Delhi, the AAP is exploiting this loophole to the maximum and spending crores on paid news advertisements at the expense of the Delhi state exchequer. This puts other parties at disadvantage,” he added.

The SAD leader said his party requests EC to reconsider the decision on total ban on corner meetings. He said that all political parties may be allowed to hold small gatherings with Covid cautions so that candidates are able to do justice with their voters.