Regional buzz | Sukhbir yet to vacate bungalow and no ‘outsider’ in Delhi polls
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Regional buzz | Sukhbir yet to vacate bungalow and no ‘outsider’ in Delhi polls

Keeping tabs on the power politics of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and J&K

punjab Updated: Apr 10, 2017 09:08 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
Former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal,Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu,Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh
Former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal may not have succeeded in stopping Captain Amarinder Singh from coming to power, but he has definitely delayed his moving into the chief minister’s official residence in sector 2 in Chandigarh. (Illustration by Daljeet Kaur Sandhu/HT)

Sukhbir yet to vacate bungalow

Former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal may not have succeeded in stopping Captain Amarinder Singh from coming to power, but he has definitely delayed his moving into the chief minister’s official residence in sector 2 in Chandigarh. Sukhbir is yet to vacate the bungalow allotted to him as deputy CM which is one of the three bungalows inside the CM’s complex. The other two kothis were with Parkash Singh Badal who had vacated them a couple of days after his defeat in elections. Sources close to Sukhbir say he has identified a private house in city where he would be shifting soon. Nothing illegal though, as he has a month’s time to move out, say officers.

RTI activist Arora now writes to CS on Sidhu

RTI activist HC Arora is not willing to give up his tirade against Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu’s television career. In a letter to chief secretary, he has requested chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to “rein in” his minister’s “doublemeaning” utterances on ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’. Referring to the episode aired on April 8, Arora has written that Sidhu’s comedy is replete with “vulgar, double-meaning and obscene” dialogues. “It violated various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, as well as those of Information and Technology Act. Their dialogues offended my conscience while viewing the show along with my wife and daughters,” Arora has written.

No ‘outsider’ in Delhi polls

After it drew flak for trying to run its campaign through people from outside Punjab in the state polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was cautious during the campaign for Rajouri Garden bypoll. Not many leaders from Punjab were seen campaigning for the party candidate. Two party MLAs from Punjab, Leader of opposition in assembly HS Phoolka and chief whip Sukhpal Singh Khaira, made only symbolic appearances. Jarnail Singh, who had quit the Rajouri Garden seat to contest in Punjab, also had no major role in the seat for which poll was held on Sunday. He was the Punjab polls observer. The party now plans to rejig the party designations after the municipal polls in Delhi. Star campaigner and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann also stayed away from the campaign in Delhi.

Striking the best House deal

When it comes to a dwelling unit, everyone wants the best. After the Congress government took over in Punjab, bureaucratic and political who’s who of the state are in the race to pick the best bungalows. Those with front and back lawns, good parking space and away from the city’s hustle bustle are in demand. Officials dealing with allotment say the level of satisfaction is low, as everyone has very high aspirations. Once the bungalows are allotted, repairs and renovation work would begin. Now that too would lead to another set of choices by these VIPs relating to wall paints, flooring, and fittings.

The most popular man in Capt’s core team

At a time, Congress MLAs are already complaining of coterie of Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh taking over, one man who is liked by all is his security adviser Khubi Ram. Appointed as adviser with ADGP rank, this retired IGP is most affable among those who have and provide access to the CM. Khubi Ram, a highly decorated paramilitary officer, had earned his spurs as a young CRPF officer fighting terrorism in the border areas of Punjab in the ‘90s. There are few in Captain’s team who have their heart in the right place, Congressmen say Khubi Ram is one of them and Captain’s grandson, Nirvan Singh, is another.

Transfers create a buzz

The week that just went by remained abuzz in Haryana with the talk of transfers that never took place. The buzz was not only restricted to scribes or the lower-rung staff of the state government, but also top bureaucrats. So much was the anxiety among several of them that they kept inquiring about the transfers, asking journalists or other officials meeting them in corridors or elevators of the Haryana civil secretariat. The orders for reshuffle of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers did not come till the time of filing of this piece on Sunday evening though about 70 Haryana Civil Service (HCS) and Haryana Police Service (HPS) officers were shifted in one go. While a purported transfer list of HPS officers was widely circulated on WhatsApp, only some of them were officially shifted.

Facebook post of Khattar’s aide stirs row

A Facebook post by Bhupeshwar Dayal, officer on special duty (OSD) to Haryana chief minister, has stirred up a row. The post, written on the saying that god gives pain to those who do bad to others, has been seen as a “veiled attack on an accused of Jat agitation Manoj Duhan, who recently lost his little son to brain tumor. While many criticised the post calling it insensitive, some even commented asking Dayal if by that logic did only thieves became victims of theft incidents, taking a dig at Dayal whose house in Sonepat was last year robbed of valuables. INLD leader Digvijay Chautala, condemning the post, asked Dayal to remove it.

Polls on mind, Asha Kumari camps in Dalhousie

Ahead of the assembly elections due later this year, Himachal legislators are concentrating on their respective constituencies. All India Congress Committee secretary (in-charge of party affairs in Punjab) Asha Kumari is also camping in her Dalhousie constituency. The other day, the Congress leader drove a land excavator to start the work on a lateral road in village Bhatyund Glaian in gram panchayat Bihana. She also posted pictures of her sitting in excavator’s cabin on her Facebook page. Doing groundwork for the next election?

Congress infighting to fore during Bhoranj bypoll

Infighting in the ruling Congress was more than visible during the byelection for Bhoranj assembly constituency for which polling was held on Sunday. Himachal Congress president Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, who does not along with well chief minister Virbhadra Singh, campaigned for the party candidate separately with irrigation and public health minister Vidya Stokes and health minister Kaul Singh Thakur. Both had lost to Virbhadra in race for the chief minister’s post in 2012. Sukhu’s supporters had brought big garlands to felicitate Stokes and Thakur on stage, sending a political signal. The CM, on the other hand, ran his own separate campaign, taking on his predecessor Prem Kumar Dhumal.

HP veterans take on each other

Chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s rivalry with his predecessor, Prem Kumar Dhumal of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has hit an all-time low during the campaign for Bhoranj assembly byelection. Virbhadra blamed Dhumal for his cases of corruption. At an election rally, he accused the BJP leader of trying to act like 18th century king Tipu Sultan. “Dhumal should not think he is Tipu Sultan. Neither the governor can act like dictator. My government for that matter is stable,” he said before adding that if the BJP comes to power too, Dhumal will not become CM.

(Contributed by Sukhdeep Kaur, Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Arvind Chhabra, Rajesh Moudgil, Hardik Anand, Gaurav Bisht)

First Published: Apr 10, 2017 09:01 IST