Jailed AAP candidate from Nainital seat Balli Singh Cheema refused to accept bail on Friday and said he would contest the Lok Sabha elections from Haldwani jail where he is lodged for alleged violation of the Election Commission's model code of conduct.
Cheema and two of his associates were sent to jail on April 22 for staging a sit-in outside the SSP's camp office in Rudrapur to protest the alleged seizure of his campaign vehicle by the authorities. Terming it as "harassment" by authorities, Cheema alleged that his campaign vehicle was seized despite the fact that he had the mandatory permission to use it for the purpose.
Udham Singh Nagar SSP Ridhim Agarwal said, "14 other AAP workers who were arrested for the same offence were let out on bail but Cheema and two of his associates refused to take bail and were sent to jail."
Charging the police with acting under the pressure of AAP's political adversaries, the party's poll committee convener for Uttarakhand Shamsher Singh Bisht said Cheema was jailed without any offence. "Now he has decided not to take bail and contest the elections from Haldwani jail," Bisht said. Demanding immediate removal of the police officials posted in Udhamsingh Nagar district, Bisht said fair polls cannot be expected in Nainital without their transfer.
Meanwhile, high profile AAP leaders like Kumar Vishwas and Shazia Ilmi are likely to visit Cheema in jail.
Like Vishwas, Cheema is also a poet whose poetry is considered to have made a significant impact on Uttarakhand statehood movement.