Punjab CEO seeks report from govt on Bittus complaint regarding NDC issue

  • | Monday | 13th May, 2024

Punjabs Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sibin C has taken cognizance of a complaint lodged by Ludhiana MP and the Bharatiya Janata Partys (BJP) candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu regarding the non-issuance of a no-due certificate (NDC) by the Municipal Commissioner (MC) as per the Election Commission of India (ECI) guidelines.   Bittu, in his complaint, alleged that the MC had misused his authority in this matter; besides, accusing the MC of impeding his ability to participate in Lok Sabha elections 2024.   In his formal complaint with the CEO, Bittu expressed concern over the failure of Ludhianas Municipal Commissioner to issue the NDC within the stipulated 48-hour period after the submission of his application. He emphasized that this delay was obstructing his ability to participate in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections of 2024.   In response to Bittus complaint, the CEO Office initiated an immediate action to address the matter, with the CEO directing the Principal Secretary of the Department of Local Government to conduct a thorough inquiry into the allegations and submit a detailed report promptly. The objective is to ensure that the Election Commission of India (ECI) is informed of the findings without delay, said the spokesperson.   The controversy surrounding the issuance of the NDC arose just hours before Bittu was scheduled to file his nomination papers for the Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat on Friday. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation served him with a notice demanding payment of Rs 1.82 crore in pending rent for government accommodation that he had occupied since 2016. Bittu, in order to clear the dues and obtain the NDC, had to arrange a substantial sum of money, even pledging a portion of his ancestral land at Kotla Afghana village.   Bittu, the grandson of the slain Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh and a three-time Member of Parliament, is seeking re-election from Ludhiana. Having previously won two consecutive terms on a Congress ticket in 2014 and 2019, he recently joined the BJP. His initial victory in the Lok Sabha elections came in 2009 from Anandpur Sahib constituency, also on a Congress ticket.   Bittu is locked in an intense ballot battle with a friend-turned-foe Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, the state Congress president. Lashing out Warring, Bittu on Sunday called him an outsider, political novice, and a mouthpiece of ruling AAP.   Raja Warring belonged to Gidderbaha and he has no base in the home constituency. The Congress party has sacrificed him and the people of Ludhiana would teach him a lifelong lesson….Raja Warring has no locus standi in Ludhiana and he would not take any interest in mitigating the problems of local people, he said, asking Warring why he didnt contest Bathinda?   Responding to Warrings allegations against him on the issue of his house, Bittu said that the Congress leader had become the mouthpiece of Bhagwant Maan and was trying to justify the action of the AAP Government. He is scared of the Vigilance inquiry against him in the transport department scandal of the fabrication of bodies of buses purchased by Punjab Roadways at high rates in Rajasthan, he added.  

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