Sack AG Deol, form fresh panel for DGP post: Sidhu sets preconditions to resume duties as Punjab Congress chief
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday withdrew his resignation as state Congress president, but hit out at chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi and put a precondition for resuming his duties.
Sidhu, who stepped down from the post on September 28, said he will return to his duties as the state unit chief the day new advocate general is appointed and a new panel for (appointment of director general of police) is received (from UPSC). “It was never personal or a matter of ego. It is the question of conscience of Punjab. Without moral authority, you cannot speak truth,” the Amritsar East MLA said at a press conference here before questioning Channi over his choices for the two senior positions and steps taken by his government for delivery of justice in sacrilege cases and action against drug trafficking.
The Congress leader has been opposed to the appointment of APS Deol and Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota as the state’s AG and DGP by Channi who took over as the chief minister following Capt Amarinder Singh’s resignation on September 18 amid a rift in the state unit. The PPCC chief kept pressing for their removal as both Deol and Sahota continue to hold their posts. Deol had resigned three days ago but his resignation is yet to be accepted. Sidhu’s statement came three days after he and Channi, along with Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Chaudhary, visited Kedarnath Temple in Uttarakhand to put up a show of unity. On their return, the two leaders attended a meeting of Congress MLAs and praised each other.
At his press conference, Sidhu said the state government was changed by people in 2017 over Bargari sacrilege and drugs and later a chief minister (Capt Amarinder) also removed over these big issues. “The offices of AG and DGP are crucial to take to logical conclusion the issue of Bargari sacrilege and drugs,” he said. He said that Sahota was appointed as head of SIT to investigate sacrilege incident by the then Badal government six years ago and their blue-eyed officer has become the DGP whereas Deol represented former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini in court, who headed the police during the sacrilege and police firing incidents, and is now the AG.
“What is this happening…when we go to villages, how are we going to answer people? What are we going to say? The party is demanding answers. After three special investigation teams (SITs), seven first information reports (FIRs), two commissions and six years of the sacrilege cases, are these the only officers you could find,” he asked. Questioning the delay in action in sacrilege cases and making public report on drug trafficking, Sidhu asked about the steps taken by the government in the past 50 days. “Don’t you want the report to be made public in the state assembly? Which court order is restraining you? Who is stopping?” he said.
Sidhu further said that if the government does not have the guts to make the special task force (STF) report public, it should give it to the party. “I will release it .The high command has no objections. They want action on 18-point agenda,” he said. He also demanded a white paper on power purchase agreements with complete details of the circumstances in which these were inked, who signed them and why these were not renegotiated.
Asked about his repeated lollipop and empty treasury barbs at Channi, Sidhu claimed his lollipop comment was aimed at (Delhi chief minister and AAP national convener Arvind) Kejriwal for promising 26 lakh jobs during one of his trips to the state. “As for khali khazana, I have talking about this from 2016 in my speeches and meetings,” he said. On using foul language against former CM Capt Amarinder Singh, he replied, “Doesn’t an 80-year-old person need to maintain dignity? You have to earn respect”.
In response to a question on the Congress’ CM-face for the 2022 poll, he said that it is decided by the people.
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission ordered the director, health services and family welfare, to submit a report on the alleged lack of infrastructure at the government-run Guru Gobind Singh Medical College at Faridkot. The GGSMCH is a tertiary care hospital, which caters to patients from various districts of south Malwa region- Faridkot, Ferozepur, Fazilka, Mansa, Moga, Muktsar and Bathinda, and also from Sri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh districts of Rajasthan.
Hours after the Chandigarh health department issued transfer letters to 12 doctors serving at government health facilities on Wednesday, three of them were cancelled citing administrative reasons. As per the order, SMO at the civil dispensary in Sector 19, Dr Paramjyoti,was transferred to the office of the director of health services after 1997. The order stated that any attempt to cancel or modify the transfer will amount to misconduct and action will be initiated.
Seventeen years after the Centre's pioneering mid-day meal scheme was implemented in the state, gaping holes in infrastructure requirements and dearth of resources continue to riddle its implementation in government and government-aided schools. Meals for all schools covered under the scheme would be cooked at a single location. However, the practice was discontinued due to concerns over hygiene, and schools were asked to hire their own cooks.
The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research's (PGIMER) standing academic committee will take up the agenda of re-introducing interviews as part of the DM/MCh entrance examinations in its meeting on Thursday. In June 2021, the association of resident doctors had written to the PGIMER director urging the withdrawal of the agenda to reintroduce practicals/ interviews as part of the entrance examination.
The cyber crime investigation cell of Chandigarh Police arrested four men from Noida on Tuesday for allegedly duping a Chandigarh resident of ₹8.5 lakh. The accused have been identified as Deepak Kumar, 32, of Bharam Puri, Delhi; Jatinder Kumar Paras, 29, a native of Bulandshar, Uttar Pradesh (UP); Rohit Kumar, 29, of Ghaziabad, UP and Saqib Khan, 26, of Gamri Sudama Puri, Delhi.