EC to scan every hotel, lodge and marriage palace to flush out outsiders

With the high-decibel campaigning for Moga bypoll coming to an end on Thursday, the Election Commission has started scanning all the lodges, guest houses, dharamshalas, marriage palaces, hotels and restaurants in the Assembly segment to flush out outsider leaders and workers of the political parties.

The entire constituency has been divided into four zones as Moga has four station house officers (SHOs) and EC has fixed responsibility on each SHO to scan every public lodging facility falling in his area. "After visiting each guest house, marriage palace, hotel and restaurant in their area, the SHOs have been asked to file a report," EC observer KN Bhatt said.

The commission held meetings with leaders of all political parties in the last two days to ensure their cooperation in moving out their leaders and workers from Moga. "The parties have assured us support but we are not taking it at the face value. We are leaving nothing to chance and have made all administrative arrangements to ensure a free and fair poll. Since one week, we have done nakabandi around the constituency and are checking all vehicles entering the city," Bhatt added.

But opposition Congress is not convinced. In advertisements issued in vernacular papers, it has appealed to its local workers to call on seven phone numbers listed in the advertisement if they spot an outsider Akali leader. The advertisement reads, "After receiving this information from you, we will alert the poll observer and flush them out of Moga before polls. The president of Pradesh Congress Committee will ensure that prompt action is taken."

State Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh, meanwhile, has moved to neighbouring town of Jagroan and will camp there till the polling comes to an end on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Congress Working Committee member Jagmeet Brar alleged that many outsider Akalis have furnished false medical affidavits to stay put in Moga.

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