Jalalabad MLA issuing threats to me, alleges Fazilka officer, files complaint

Congress MLA Raminder Singh Awla is pressuring me to appoint administrators in various panchayats of Jalalabad assembly segment, claims Fazilka district development and panchayat officer Sukhpal singh. The MLA , on his part, rubbished his allegations and alleged that there were numerous complaints of harassment against the DDPO.
A file photo of Congress’ Jalalabad MLA Raminder Singh Awla with former CM Amarinder Singh. Fazilka officer claims that threats are being issued to him by the MLA, who, in turn, has accused the officer of harassing sarpanches in his area. (HT photo)
A file photo of Congress’ Jalalabad MLA Raminder Singh Awla with former CM Amarinder Singh. Fazilka officer claims that threats are being issued to him by the MLA, who, in turn, has accused the officer of harassing sarpanches in his area. (HT photo)
Published on Sep 24, 2021 02:01 AM IST
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By HT Correspondent, Bathinda

The Fazilka district development and panchayat officer (DDPO) has submitted a written complaint with the state rural and panchayat department and the deputy commissioner, accusing Congress’ Jalalabad MLA Raminder Singh Awla of intimidation and issuing threats.

DDPO Sukhpal Singh, who urged the deputy commissioner to initiate legal action against the MLA for obstructing a public servant from discharging duties, proceeded on leave from Thursday.

“Awla has been pressuring me to appoint administrators in various panchayats of the Jalalabad assembly segment. He phoned me around 11.30am yesterday and used foul language for not towing his line. I told him the DDPO office will proceed as per the rulebook to ensure elected gram panchayats representatives could work independently,” said the official.

If a gram panchayat is unable to maintain a quorum for any reason, the state authorities appoint an administrator who then can spend the grants for village development.

In his complaint, the DDPO alleged the MLA was using extraneous pressure and intended to harm him physically.

Rejecting the allegations, MLA Awla said he did not threaten the DDPO or used unparliamentarily language against him.

“There are numerous complaints of harassment by sarpanches against the DDPO. He is accused of unnecessary delay in public works. Being an MLA, I have every right to contact an official in public interest and fix his responsibility,” he added.

Director (rural development and panchayats) Manpreet Singh Chhatwal confirmed that the matter was brought to his notice by the DDPO.

Fazilka DC Arvind Pal Singh said he was yet to get the details. “We will sit and settle the matter amicably,” he said.

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Monday, October 25, 2021