CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal has urged Election Commission of India (ECI) to reconsider its ban on election rallies and corner meetings in Punjab and said that it should allow small meetings as they are must for candidates to approach all sections of society.
In a letter written to ECI, SAD Spokesman Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema said that ECI has imposed a ban on all election rallies, pad yatras, corner meetings etc. up to January 15 which was causing great hardship to the contesting candidate of all parties.
He said that it is not possible to cover all the voters of assembly constituency in digital mode as there are many backward areas in the state where internet networks are not working properly.
He further said that old people which constitute major part of the population are rarely using digital methods and people from poor sections of the society also have very little access to digital technology.
The SAD leader said that due to these reasons 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. He said that we agree that big rallies may be banned but small meetings are must.
Dr Cheema also brought to notice of ECI that many parties which are contesting elections in Punjab have their governments in Punjab/Delhi State/Union Govt. They are misusing government funds to promote their political interests. For example 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. Since there is no code of conduct in Delhi, the AAP is exploiting this loop hole to the maximum and spending crores on paid news advertisements at the expense of Delhi state exchequer. This puts other parties at disadvantage.
The SAD leader said that party humbly requests ECI 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.