Moga(Pb): Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday denied allegation of the opposition Congress of "misusing" the official machinery in favour of SAD candidate for the next week's Moga Assembly by-poll.

Addressing various election meetings in Moga town and rural areas in support of SAD candidate Joginderpal Jain, Badal strongly denied the charges made by some Congress leaders.

Playing the development card, the chief minister said that Shiromani Akali Dal was seeking votes on the basis of "uniform development" it has carried out in the state.

The Moga seat fell vacant after Jain, a two-time Congress MLA, left the party to join the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). Meanwhile, Badal, lashed out at the UPA government and strongly criticised its alleged anti-people's policies and "step-motherly" treatment to Punjab.

"The Congress-led government at the Centre is full of scams and they have never bothered about the welfare of the people," he said, alleging that the fresh example of UPA government's anti-people's policies was the hike of petrol and diesel prices.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India has ordered appointment of micro-observers for each and every polling booth for the Moga by-election, which is slated for February 23.

It has also ordered installation of the cameras and the deployment of the central para-military forces. Officials said the Commission is closely monitoring the election process amidst the apprehensions expressed by the Congress that the ruling SAD was misusing the official machinery.

In a letter written in response to a complaint by the Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh, the ECI has said that adequate deployment of the central para-military forces will be made outside the polling stations.

Besides, there will be an intensive and extensive patrolling by the paramilitary forces in the area, it said.


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