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Standoff with admn, police officials: Jakhar sides with Cong MLAs, says charges a blot on govt’s functioning

Chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh on Wednesday marked an inquiry into the allegations and transferred Patiala sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Ravinder Singh Arora who was accused of seeking bribes after the MLAs raised the issue with cabinet minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot.
By Vishal Rambani, Patiala
PUBLISHED ON NOV 23, 2019 01:20 AM IST

Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar on Friday backed the ruling Congress MLAs who on Wednesday had levelled charges of corruption against some civil and police officers in chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s home district of Patiala.

“Bureaucracy has to be made accountable. They (bureaucrats) have been creating problems from time to time and bringing a bad name to the government. It’s high time this is stopped,” said Jakhar speaking over phone.

Chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh on Wednesday marked an inquiry into the allegations and transferred Patiala sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Ravinder Singh Arora who was accused of seeking bribes after the MLAs raised the issue with cabinet minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot.

Jakhar added, “It’s a blot on our government if an SDM in the CM’s sub-division is demanding bribes and that too from the ruling party workers. Who posted Ravinder Singh Arora as SDM in the CM’s home constituency, especially when he as Baba Bakala SDM demanded bribe from an NRI in 2018 and was suspended by the chief secretary? Who is responsible for this? The responsibility lies with the bureaucracy and the guilty should not be spared. We won’t take it lightly.”

In the past too, the ruling party MLAs have accused the officials of not paying heed to them and party workers.

Jakhar, who claimed to have spoken to MLA Madan Lal Jalalpur and others, who upped the ante against their government, said, “The discontent among our MLAs underlines that all is not well. Many more MLAs from across the state have raised this issue in the presence of the CM. I am going to call a meeting of party MLAs and flag the issue with the CM.”

The state Congress chief said the party came to power on the promise of providing “an efficient and corruption free government” but the legislators were unhappy over the same.

On MLA Rajinder Singh’s accusation that a station house officer (SHO) recorded his phone calls, Jakhar said, “No one has any business recording the phone calls of any MLA or a leader as they are bound to make calls in public interest. This trend of recording phone calls is unacceptable,” said Jakhar.

“No one, especially a government servant, is authorised to record phone calls. All parties should sit together and find solution to this unethical practice by government officials,” he added.

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