Former BJP minister Tikshan Sud might have been defeated in the last assembly polls but for his partymen and the bureaucracy, he still is the MLA. Although he holds no constitutional post, he conducts himself as an elected representative. He inaugurates official buildings, distributes government grants and even presides over official meetings.
He holds complete sway in municipal council as his former PA and sitting district BJP president Shiv Sood heads the MC.
On Monday, he inaugurated a tubewell in Akash Colony. If sources are to be believed, all important files are routed through him and he has the ultimate say in every major issue. Sud holds 'sangat darshans' at his residence and takes up their grievances with the officials concerned. He has his own media management team but if asked, the public relation department also issues his press notes under its head.
Sud said that by doing so he was not violating any norms. "I never inaugurate a building or distribute grants on my own. Officers concerned are always there with me. Moreover, I hold many other offices like I am the director of Guru Ravidas Ayurvedic University," said Sud.
He said he has been serving the people of Hoshiarpur constituency for years and they still approached him for help. "If people come to me for redressal of their grievances, it only shows that they trust me and my capability," Sud added. Congress MLA Sunder Sham Arora, however, said that his political opponent resorted to 'cheap political stunts' to remain in limelight.
"He is not accepting the fact that people have rejected him (in the assembly polls). Many other defeated SAD and BJP leaders are behaving similarly. They want to remain in the public eye at any cost. By bypassing the elected representatives while allotting grants, the state government is also acting undemocratically. The Congress may move court to get the unethical practice stopped," said Arora. He alleged that ruling party leaders would often press the officers to provide them details of the government grants which are deposited directly in bank accounts and then falsely take the credit by telling people that they had arranged the said grants.
NGO, Human Empowerment League of Punjab (HELP) general secretary Parvinder Singh Kitna termed the trend of distribution of grants by defeated MPs and MLAs as 'unfortunate'.
He said a few months ago he had written to the state chief secretary as well as deputy commissioners of Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr districts in this regard, giving them a detailed account of the government grants being distributed by the leaders of the ruling SAD-BJP, but he got no response from any of these offices. He alleged that Congress leaders were also distributing MPLAD funds unauthorisedly.
He said the NGO would file a case in the Punjab and Haryana high court if the unconstitutional practice of disbursement of public funds by the political leaders possessing no constitutional authority remained unchecked.