Another Punjab Police officer has found himself at the receiving end.
On Thursday, Punjab health minister and senior BJP leader Madan Mohan Mittal publicly reprimanded additional director general of police (ADGP) Gurdev Singh Sahota for not receiving him at the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) complex here, even as he threatened "not to continue" if subjected to such "humiliation" in future.
Mittal lost his temper on not being received by the ADGP during his visit to open a community health centre (CHC) on the PAP campus. Sahota was awaiting the minister at the venue of the public gathering, the last leg of Mittal's visit to the complex.
"We (BJP) are also ministers… cabinet ministers. You are treating us as if we are not ministers. We also enjoy the same status as other ministers. I understand you wield power. But, I will definitely tell the home minister (Sukhbir Badal) that you have appointed this kind of officers in the field," Mittal fumed, apparently exposing the brewing discontent among BJP ministers over allegedly being ignored by its alliance partner, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
During its last core committee meeting, a majority of the BJP ministers had reportedly expressed dismay over not being duly consulted by the Badals before taking important decisions even in their own departments, thus rendering them mere spectators.
"I will also talk to the chief minister in this regard. If you are going to humiliate us in such a fashion, we are not going to continue," he threatened (Hindustan Times is in possession of video footage of the incident).
"I am not happy. You (ADGP) kept waiting for me to reach the stage. You didn't receive me at the entrance and did not join me during the health centre's opening and the subsequent round of the facility. You did not even like to get photographed with me during the centre's opening. You didn't show courtesies," he said, even as Sahota, with folded hands, immediately apologised in public view.
"You should have come there. I was expecting that you would be there (at the entrance)," he added.
When Sahota tried to pacify the minister, the latter got so infuriated that he threatened to make public the treatment meted out to him even from the stage itself. A "helpless" Sahota had no option but to keep mum.
Earlier, the annoyed minister also told Sahota that he (Mittal) would have preferred to sit among the public than on the stage, but there was no spare chair for him. The ADGP told Mittal that he had high regard for him, but the minister was seemingly in no mood to relent.
Earlier in the day, during a function at the local civil hospital, Mittal got upset when district health officer Dr Ashwani Sondhi started replying to a query on non-availability of radiologists to operate the newly-installed CT scan machine on a permanent basis. Dr Sondhi soon realised his 'mistake' and stopped the briefing abruptly. However, in a sarcastic tone, the minister asked him to continue. "Nai nai aap aage aao. Aap hee brief kar do media ko. Meri kya zaroorat hai? (You come forward to brief the media. What's the need for me to do it?)," he said, forcing Dr Sondhi to apologise to the minister.
Khanna-based journalists were earlier up in arms against Mittal when he allegedly uttered disrespectful words about the media after some reporters and photographers got manhandled. The minister had also courted controversy when he opposed raids conducted by chief parliamentary secretary Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu against government doctors indulging in private practice.