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Why special security for Bikram Majithia, asks Randhawa at Punjab cabinet meet

Randhawa told chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh that even the district police have stopped providing pilot Gypsies to ministers when they enter their area of jurisdiction, but Majithia continues to enjoy the special cover.

punjab Updated: Jun 01, 2018 11:42 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
special security,pecial security for Majithia,Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa
Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa (HT File )

In the cabinet meeting held here on Thursday, Punjab jails and cooperation minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa raised the issue of “special” security cover to Akali leaders, particularly former minister Bikram Singh Majithia.

Randhawa told chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh that even the district police have stopped providing pilot Gypsies to ministers when they enter their area of jurisdiction, but Majithia continues to enjoy the special cover.

To strengthen his claim, Randhawa also showed to the CM a note of route plan finalised by police for Majithia’s recent visit via Fatehgarh Sahib district. The order, a copy of which is with HT, says that the station house officer en route will be responsible for making security, route traffic and law and order arrangements. A pilot vehicle will be provided to the VIP from within the jurisdiction of this district as per said programme. Assistant superintendent of police or deputy superintendent of police concerned will supervise the security arrangements in their jurisdiction, the order reads.

“Police have stopped providing local pilot vehicles to a minister, but when Majithia, who is an MLA, travels, an ASP or DSP is deputed to oversee his route plan. The police must clarify what threat Majithia is facing in Punjab?” asked Randhawa.

“Why DSPs and ASPs salute Majithia. The salute is not for any individual, but for the flag that we carry as a minister on our official vehicles.”Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Punjab jails minister

“DSPs and ASPs salute Majithia. This salute is not meant for any individual, but to the flag that we carry as a minister on our official vehicles. Why DSPs and SHOs are being asked to salute and facilitate those who are facing probes?” Randhawa said, adding that a CM-like security cover is being provided to former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal.

Randhawa got the support of his cabinet colleagues after which the CM reportedly assured that he will “look into the matter”.

Power minister Gurpreet Kangar also questioned pilot Gypsy being provided to former minister Sikander Singh Maluka and rural and urban development minister too objected to a bulletproof car provided to former speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon.

Channi comes under fire

Randhawa also flayed technical education minister Charanjit Singh Channi for issuing a statement in the media that no Scheduled Caste was on the list of 28 law officers appointed in the advocate general’s office. Channi was not present in the meeting.

“Channi’s move should be condemned as he issued the statement on the eve of Shahkot bypoll. When he raised the issue, ministers and Congress leaders, who were camping in Shahkot, faced a volley of questions from Dalits. He should be condemned for it,” said other ministers, excluding transport minister Aruna Chaudhary, who preferred to remain silent. She is Channi’s close relative.

Source said the CM also apprised the ministers that Channi had recommended two names for law officers. The CM said he even forwarded the names to the AG for appointment, but the latter did not consider them due to qualification issues, the CM told ministers.

Mohindra fumes at raids on Patiala mayor’s residences

Health minister Brahm Mohindra expressed resentment over local bodies department internal vigilance raids on Patiala mayor Sanjeev Bittu’s official and private residences.

At the cabinet meeting, Mohindra said the raids on Congress mayor’s house have brought embarrassment to the party and the government in Patiala, which is also hometown of the CM. “This is unfortunate and I strongly condemn it,” Mohindra said at the meeting.

Local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu tried to pacify Mohindra, but to no avail. When questioned at a press conference later, Sidhu said the department sent teams to check ground realities as the matter was reported in the media.

First Published: Jun 01, 2018 11:42 IST