Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has been caught in a controversy after the state cabinet decision to give two state government jobs to the sons of Congress MLAs. Sunil Jakhar, the Punjab Congress chief, questioned the move and appealed to the Chief Minister to reconsider the decision and rollback of the order.
Jakhar said that the action of the state government could give a chance to the opposition to target the government of nepotism. The state Congress chief said that even as it is the moral duty of the nation and the government to take care of the families of freedom fighters and those who give their lives for the country in every way, it would not be proper to keep the two appointments made on Friday on compassionate grounds in the same league. to rescind the ill-advised appointments in the greater public interest.
The decision to appoint sons of two Congress MLAs Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa and Rakesh Pandey on the compassionate ground was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Arjun Pratap Singh Bajwa was appointed as an inspector in the Punjab Police and Bhisham Pandey as a naib tehsildar in the state’s Revenue Department.
“No question of rescinding Punjab Cabinet decision on jobs for sons of 2 Congress MLAs. It is just a small token of gratitude and compensation for the sacrifices of their families. It’s shameful that some people are giving political colour to this decision," Captain Amarinder Singh was quoted as saying by his media adviser Raveen Thukral in a tweet.
Two Congress MLAs — Kuljit Nagra and Amrinder Singh Raja Warring — also expressed displeasure over the move and backed Jakhar’s disapproval.
Jakhar, in a statement here, further pointed out that certain elected representatives tending to their own families do not deserve the same consideration as is due to those who make the supreme sacrifice for the nation. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh Ji must reverse the ill-advised decision, Jakhar said, cautioning against the potential charges of nepotism and political expediency to be levied against the Congress party otherwise.
The decision is also in my view against the ethos and culture of the neutrality followed by Amarinder Singh and the Congress party as a whole, he said. Congress MLAs Kuljit Nagra said he too was not in favour of this decision.
I urge the Cabinet and the CM that this decision should be rolled back keeping in mind the future of youths and the CM should again call a Cabinet meeting to reverse this move, said Nagra. Party MLA from Gidderbaha Amrinder Singh Raja Warring appealed to Fateh Jung Bajwa and Rakesh Pandey not to accept these jobs for their sons.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal also condemned Amarinder Singh for giving jobs in the police and revenue departments to the wards of Congress legislators. It is a decision taken by Amarinder Singh to “save his chair", he said, adding all such illegal appointments would be quashed once the SAD-BSP alliance forms the government in the state in 2022.
In a statement here, the SAD president said it was shocking that while the poor and meritorious students were awaiting jobs under the ‘ghar ghar naukari’ (a job for each household) scheme, the Amarinder Singh government has changed it to ‘kewal Congress ghar naukari’ (state jobs only for Congress households). “False compassionate grounds have been created to give jobs to the sons of Congress legislators Fatehjgang Singh and Rakesh Pandey who have been appointed to the posts of inspector and naib tehsilder respectively, he said.