Former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal Thursday described the conduct of Wednesday's zila parishad and panchayat samiti polls in the state as "brutal and broad daylight murder of democracy."
He said "the wanton lawlessness and criminality" witnessed Tuesday during the polls should finally open the eyes of those who thought that the SAD's fears of poll violence were just a "ruse."
Badal said September 19, 2018 will be remembered as "one of the darkest days" for democracy in Punjab when the Congress made the state "look like Bihar" during the latter's worst period.
The former CM said it was "extremely painful and regrettable" that the state election commission completely abdicated its constitutional responsibility on Tuesday.
"Both the state machinery and the state election commission functioned as an extension of the Congress party during the entire poll process," he said in a statement.
Badal said not only the mammoth and unprecedented response of Punjabis to the SAD-BJP rally at Faridkot and earlier at Abohar, but also its strong Punjabi and Panthic character had unnerved the Congress and its stooges.
"For these stooges hiding behind Panthic cloaks, Tuesday was repayment time for the favours they continue to receive from the Congress government. They carried out poll violence at the behest of the Congress which is keeping them politically afloat for its ultimate anti-Sikh agenda.
The Congress is providing political cover to the forces inimical to peace and communal harmony. As in the eighties, this nexus is pushing Punjab into the jaws of violence," he said.
Badal said the SAD is their prime target because "our party has always articulated the Sikh and Punjabi cause in a peaceful and democratic way."
"Peace and democracy is at stake in Punjab. The non-performance of the state government and its betrayal to the people of Punjab on the promises made to them by Amarinder Singh by holding Gutka Sahib (religious book) in hand has completely isolated the Congress from the people," he said.
The Congress now is using its old card of dividing Punjabis and conspiring to push the brave Sikh community into a fratricidal civil war, he said
Badal said the SAD is determined not only to expose the nexus and its conspiracies but also to save Punjab and the Sikhs from these evil designs.
Meanwhile, SAD leaders in Chandigarh alleged the police helped Congress during the polls and sought the registration of a case against SSP Muktsar.
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal will not file for anticipatory bail in the "political vendetta case" that was registered against him Wednesday, the SAD leaders said.
Senior SAD leaders Bikram Singh Majithia, Maheshinder Singh Grewal and Dr Daljit Singh Cheema alleged that the officer "gave directions to the district police to help Congress workers capture booths as per the command of his political masters".
This was the reason that out of the over 50 booths where re-polling was ordered, 36 were in Muktsar district and 11 in Lambi constituency alone, the Akali leaders claimed.
"Despite such large scale booth capturing no case was registered against a single Congress worker or officer. This indicts the SSP and he should be punished for muzzling the voice of democracy," they alleged.
Grewal said former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal went to the spot at Killianwali in Muktsar upon getting information about booth capturing after ringing the state DGP eight times and the IG twice.
"Mr Parkash Singh Badal chose to go to the people after appeals made to the state police failed to produce any results. He was accompanied by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal," he said.
On the case registered against the SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, Grewal claimed the complainant was the brother of a Congress candidate