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Row erupts after Punjab CM Channi's son seen at official meeting with father

Rhythmjit Singh was seen at a meeting chaired by DGP Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota. The chief minister, too, was present at the meeting.
Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi (gesticulating with hands) and his son Rhythmjit (seen in the background). (twitter.com/manaman_chhina)
Published on Oct 03, 2021 11:58 AM IST
By, New Delhi

The ruling Congress in Punjab is staring at yet another controversy after new chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi's son was seen present at an official meeting. The meeting was chaired by DGP Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota at which the chief minister himself was present.

According to Hindustan Times' sister publication Live Hindustan, DGP Sahota, himself recently elevated to the top post, was, on Thursday, chairing a briefing with officials over the law and order situation in the border state. While Channi himself attended the meet, his son, Rhythmjit Singh, too, is seen in photos that have since gone viral on social media. Rhythymjit is seen in the background, sitting behind the state police chief.

Journalist Man Aman Singh Chhina, who tracks Punjab, tweeted, “The BJP has objected to CM Channi's son sitting in a law and order meeting with the DGP and other officers and ministers. He can be seen sitting in the back. Interestingly, these pictures were released by the Punjab Government Directorate of Public Relations.”

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Attacking the CM, Ashwini Sharma, the Punjab unit president of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that as a three-term legislator, Channi should have been aware of rules and regulations. “It is unfortunate that senior bureaucrats allowed this despite being aware of the norms,” Sharma said, according to Live Hindustan.

Cabinet minister Pargat Singh, who holds the sports portfolio, was among the attendees.

The presence of a family member of the chief minister or that of any minister is in violation of the Rules of Business of the state government, Times of India noted, citing retired bureaucrats and legal experts. According to them, such a scenario also violates the Official Secrets Act, as sensitive matters, which the CM and ministers take oath to keep confidential, are taken up in official interactions.

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