Chandigarh, Jan 28 (IANS): The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday demanded transfer of state intelligence officials, including the top brass, who face charges of compromising the security of Punjab and indulging in electoral malpractices to provide "illegal, illegitimate and immoral" help to the ruling Congress.
Addressing the media here, Harcharan Bains, principal advisor to Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, said the party has filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India, detailing how the state's intelligence wing was used by the Congress by placing it at the disposal of a private agency to illegally acquire inputs about prospective candidates of opposition parties and ways to threaten them to withdraw from the upcoming Assembly elections scheduled on February 20.
He said SAD has given detailed account on the working of intelligence wing officials with the private agency, MovDekPOLITICO, in securing inputs.
He said there are credible reports that the highest-ranked police officers of the state were asked to collaborate with the private company in intelligence gathering.
Bains said the party has told the EC that the continued presence of these officers on active duty would make a "free and fair poll impossible".
Apart from the fact that inaction on the part of the EC would bring its own role as an impartial authority under a ‘thick cloud of suspicion', it will also embolden other officers and the entire government machinery to continue to help the ruling party, he said.
"This is blatant misuse of power by the ruling party and may influence the outcome of the elections, which is against the spirit of free and fair polls and will deal a lethal blow to the democratic institutions as well as democracy itself," read the letter to the EC.