Former Batala MLA Ashwani Sekhri is proving to be a spoke in the wheels of chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s move to shun the VIP culture. The three-time Congress MLA has reportedly refused to surrender the red beacon-fixed car to the state transport department, if officials are to be believed.
Sekhri, who is also secretary of AICC, lost polls by 465 votes to LS Lodhinangal of the Akali Dal.
When officials of the transport commissioner’s office didn’t get a favourable response from Sekhri even after repeated phone calls, they reached his office to take back the car to Chandigarh, but the Congress leader refused to part with the vehicle. He reportedly didn’t even let the driver, Gurmukh Singh, leave.
Talking to HT, a transport official dealing with allocating vehicles to elected representatives, on the condition of anonymity, said during his stint as Batala MLA from 2012 to 2017, Sekhri was allocated a Toyota Innova SUV. “Barring Sekhri, all other MLAs who lost the recent election have surrendered their vehicles,” he said.
On Monday, Sekhri’s official driver Gurmukh was asked to bring the vehicle to Chandigarh, but ex-MLAs office allegedly refused to part with the vehicle.
Sekhri, however, said he had not received any phone call or order from the state transport department. “I own a fleet of cars and had stopped using the official car since the day results were declared. How can I surrender the vehicle without getting any written order from the department?” he said.