Punjab Election Official Seeks Inquiry Report Into “Badal Bicycle” Giveaways

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CHANDIGARH – Punjab Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) VK Singh has sought an inquiry report against Sangrur Deputy Commissioner (DC) Indu Malhotra for her alleged role in getting bicycles with Chief Minister’s pictures to be distributed among students under the Mai Bhago Vidya Scheme. The CEO has forwarded a complaint to Chief Secretary Rakesh Singh in this regard.

“Congress MP Vijay Inder Singla has alleged that the DC played a role in the arrival of bicycles meant for distribution among students. On confirmation, we found that the DC had asked the programme officers concerned to stop the distribution of bicycles. We will wait for the inquiry report before taking any action,” Singh told the media here today.

In violation of model code of conduct, two trucks carrying 2,238 bicycles with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s pictures were being unloaded for distribution among girl students of Government Senior Secondary School at the district’s Dhadhogal Kherri village.

The CEO’s office received a similar complaint from Moonak village.

“It will be a matter of investigation that the programme officer failed to communicate the DC’s order of canceling the distribution bicycles,” Singh said. He, however, denied any immediate action against the programme officer. “The distribution of such bicycles was a violation of the model code of conduct.”

On the possibility of Talwandi Sabo byelection with the Lok Sabha poll, the CEO said his office had not received any communication from the Vidhan Sabha in that regard. “Whenever there is a word on the issue, the matter will be referred to the Election Commission (EC),” he said.