The state Congress president wants the chief minister's sangat darshan programme off, while his wife has thanked the CM for it in a letter that is now out.
On the one hand, state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa had moved the Punjab and Haryana high court to seek a ban on the CM's public-contact programme, and on the other hand, his wife and Qadian legislator, Charanjit Kaur Bajwa, had written a thanksgiving letter to CM Parkash Singh Badal for bringing it to her constituency, senior Akali leader and former Punjab minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan said here on Sunday.
The CM had held a three-day (August 31 to September 2) sangat darshan programme in Charanjit Kaur's constituency that covers 182 villages, besides the Qadian municipal council zone. At a palace in Bhaini Mian Khan on Sunday, Sekhwan talked about it in his address to members of panchayats at the CM's sangat darshan programme. "Consult your wife before taking a political decision. She seems wiser," Sekhwan told Bajwa.
The official letter dated August 31 is addressed to the CM and was signed by Charanjit Kaur Bajwa duly. It opens with the lines: "I, Charanjit Kaur Bajwa, welcome you on your visit to this (Qadian) assembly constituency and I also thank you." She further brings seven problems of her constituency to the CM's notice, requesting a solution.
Asked to comment, Partap Singh Bajwa denied that his wife had written any letter to the CM, and accused Sekhwan of lying. HT, however, has a copy of the letter. Bajwa also questioned how his wife could write to the CM when all the time her party and family has criticised Badal bitterly for holding wasteful sangat darshan programmes.
Sekhwan said he was the political rival of Charanjit Kaur of the Congress, yet he must welcome her concern for the development of her constituency. He claimed that she had also demanded in her letter that the CM sanctioned some more development works for her constituency.
Court has decided, held me right: CM
CM Parkash Singh Badal told the gathering that the high court had decided the Congress' writ petition seeking a ban on sangat darshan in his favour, stating that the CM was the people's elected ruler, who had the right to keep direct contact with public. "I have a vast experience in politics, yet I have never seen any other CM keep a direct link with people through a scheme such as this," said the CM.
Badal added that he knew the working of the government offices, and that it would take people a year to reach him through the official channel. "At sangat darshan, common man gets his problems solved on the spot," said Badal. He compared himself to a doctor and said as a physician could not treat a patient until personal examination, even he need to visit each village and city to know its problems.
"However, my responsibilities as CM forbid me to go everywhere," he said, "so I made clusters to gather panchayats at a common place to get development moving."