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Punjab Congress demands immediate steps to make counting transparent

New Delhi/Chandigarh: The Punjab Pradesh Congress today urged the Election Commission of India to take certain immediate steps including time bound declaration of results immediately after counting to make the counting transparent and check the possibility of any irregularity at the constituency level. A delegation to this effect led by the PPCC chief, Mr. Partap Singh Bajwa, called on the Chief Election Commissioner of India and submitted a three page memorandum making some concrete suggestions. He was accompanied by Mr. Surjit Singh Siwaich, Mr. Ranjit Singh Bath and Mr. Pradeep Virk. The CEC said the demands were genuine and justified and that the Commission would look into the matter. The delegation demanded that after signing of Form 17C by the returning officer, a copy of the same be supplied to the candidate, his election agent or counting agent after each round of counting. Further, after each round of counting, Part II of Form 17C is filled in by the counting superviser noting separately the votes polled by each candidate. He signs it and also gets it signed by the candidate or the election agent or the counting agent, as the case may be, present at the counting table. Thereafter, the same is submitted to the returning officer who countersigns it. However, the copy is not handed over to the candidates or their agents. The delegation said regarding entries in Form 20, it is provided that the same would be announced so that the candidates and their agents might take note of the results of counting in respect of each polling station. Alternatively, the entries can be written on the black board. The delegation demanded that the copies of Form 20 duly signed by all be supplied to the candidate or his agent, after each round of counting. The agents noting down the votes polled or writing on the blackboard was an old practice and it should be changed by providing photo copies with all the details filled in to the agents. Referring to the declaration of results after counting, the delegation pointed out that in several cases, it was observed that the returning officers delayed the declaration of results after counting deliberately and allegations of mischief had also been levelled. In order to avoid such allegations and make the process more transparent, strict instructions should be given to the counting officers to declare the results in a time bound manner, within half an hour or one hour of the completion of the counting process. In case of any delay, the returning officer should be instructed to record the reason for the same and the copies of the same be supplied to the candidates or their agents. Lastly, the delegation demanded that directions be issued to the returning officers to supply the copies of all videography and CCTH recordings of the entire counting process on demand to the candidate or the agent on payment.  
Bajwa expresses shock over exploitation of young daughters by addict fathers
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President, Mr. Partap Singh Bajwa, today expressed shock over the revelations about the addict fathers sexually exploiting and torturing their young daughters, including infants and it was unbelievable that such gruesome distortions had crept into Punjabi society which was known for progressive outlook. “Nothing can be more shocking in a civilised society than the surfacing of such horrifying incidents of the drunk and addict fathers sexually torturing their young daughters, including infants. This is just inhuman. We should hang our heads in shame. Such dreadful criminals must be given exemplary punishment”, he said in a statement issued here today. He said earlier, it was the menace of killing the girls in the womb that had hit the Punjabi society like a virus and that had now been checked to a large extent with the launching of awareness campaign along with other measures. The PPCC chief said the issue of incest involving fathers was multidimensional which would have to be strongly confronted at socio-economic level also apart from treating it as a heinous crime providing strongest possible punishment. He said in all the reported cases, the father was either drunk or addict. He said addiction had spread like a virus eating into the Punjabi society. The easy availability of drugs in every nook and corner of the state had worsened the situation which was now getting out of control.
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