Chandigarh, Sep 8 (PTI) The SAD-BJP combine on Saturday asked the State Election Commission (SEC) to order an immediate inquiry into incidents of violence during filing of nomination papers for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections. Also Read - After Rajasthan, Congress Red Faced Again as Punjab CM at Loggerheads With Bajwa Over Recent Hooch Tragedy

The parties also sought deployment of paramilitary forces to ensure free and fair polls. Also Read - Punjab Hooch Tragedy: SAD to Hold Symbolic Protest in Front of Sonia Gandhi's Residence on August 11

A joint delegation of the two parties, comprising the Shiromani Akali Dal’s Bikram Singh Majithia and Daljit Singh Cheema and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Malwinder Singh Kang and Raj Bhatia, also impressed upon State Election Commissioner Jagpal Sandhu to take action against both civil and police officials. Also Read - Punjab Announces Additional Restrictions in Jalandhar, Ludhiana & Patiala | Read Dos And Don'ts Here

The delegation alleged that the officials remained mute spectators when Congress workers indulged in violence at some places in Punjab on Friday.

It also stressed on the need for videography of the entire polling process.

Majithia told Sandhu that the extreme “intimidation unleashed” by Congress workers on SAD-BJP workers had resulted in no nominations being filed by the candidates of the two parties in five blocks — Zira, Makhu, Guruharsahai, Dera Baba Nanak and Patti.

He demanded that time for filing nominations be extended in these five blocks.

Cheema told Sandhu that in case all these steps are not taken, it would be next to impossible to hold free and fair elections.

The SAD leader briefed newspersons after handing over a detailed memorandum to the SEC along with details of all incidents of violence, including the two in Tarn Taran and Dera Baba Nanak wherein gunshots were fired.

Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections in Punjab will be held on September 19. Votes will be counted on September 22.

A total of 354 members of Zila Parishads and 2,900 members of Panchayat Samitis will be elected during the polling.

A total of 1,392 nominations have been filed for 22 Zila Parishads and 9,691 nominations have been filed for 150 Panchayat Samitis.

The scrutiny of nomination papers will be done on September 10.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.