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Punjab hooch tragedy | State Congress chief Sunil Jakhar wants action against ‘indisciplined’ party MP duo

Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar

Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar  

A day after the two Rajya Sabha MPs Partap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo, both from the Congress party, sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe into the production of illegal liquor in Punjab against the backdrop of the hooch tragedy, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar on Tuesday said he would be writing to party president Sonia Gandhi to seek action against the duo for their “brazen indiscipline”.

Pointing out that Mr. Bajwa and Mr. Dullo had been engaging in such anti-party activities for quite some time by talking against their own party and targeting the Congress government in Punjab, Mr. Jakhar said their attacks had increased after Captain Amarinder Singh announced his decision to contest the 2022 elections.

‘Like Rajasthan’

Mr. Jakhar described the attack of the two MPs on their own government as a “copy-paste job” of what had happened in Rajasthan in January, in the wake of 107 infant deaths over which Mr. Sachin Pilot had flayed his own government.

Mr. Jakhar described the action of the two MPs, who had on August 3 approached the Punjab Governor to demand a probe by the CBI and ED into the liquor deaths as a “manifestation of their desperate desire to grab the high seat of power by hook or by crook”.

“Having probably seen the 2022 polls as their last chance to make it big in the corridors of power, the duo saw their hopes shattered and, out of sheer frustration, were knocking at all possible doors to sneak their way to the top echelons of power,” he said, adding that there are strong rumours of the two MPs being in touch with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“Had action been taken against Mr. Pilot then itself, what is happening today in Rajasthan could have been avoided,” he said, adding that he would bring to Ms. Sonia Gandhi’s notice the dangers of letting Mr. Bajwa and Mr. Dullo get away with their detestable act of expressing their dissent/concern not in the party or a government forum but in public.

‘Stem the rot’

“It is time to stem the rot and save the Congress from the petty machinations of the likes of Bajwa and Dullo, who had no shame in biting the hand that feeds them,” said Mr. Jakhar, adding that he would seek strict action against the two MPs who were disgracefully exploiting a tragedy to further their own political ambitions and interests.

“How many times in all these years did they ask for expediting a CBI inquiry into the sacrilege cases [which have since been taken over by the Punjab Police] or the ED probe into drugs, launched during the erstwhile SAD (Shiromani Akali Dal)-BJP government?” he quipped.

Mr. Bajwa said the actions of Mr. Bajwa and Mr. Dullo could not be tolerated any longer. “Men like these, who did not have even the courage to face elections, are no asset to the party. Such backstabbing members should be shown the door before they can cause any serious damage,” said Mr. Jakhar, adding that “enough is enough now” and he was going to “clearly demand serious action against them from the party president”.

Bajwa responds

Mr. Bajwa responded by saying that Mr. Jakhar “must realise that there is always a limit in accepting misgovernance and maladministration” and that “it must never be accepted by any political representative”. “Mr. Dullo and I have been raising the issue of the liquor mafia in Punjab and writing to the Chief Minister about the same. The Chief Minister had the arrogance and the audacity to publicly comment in a press conference a few weeks ago that he does not read our communications and that they were not worthy of a response,” he said.

He added that Mr. Jakhar needed to understand that he had not “backstabbed the party” but was left with no alternative means to raise these issues with the CM. “Mr. Dullo and I were forced to route our communications to the Chief Minister through the constitutional means left to us to hold him accountable. We would both like Mr. Jakhar to understand that we have no political design in doing what we must to defend the people of Punjab,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 9:07:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/jakhar-wants-action-against-indisciplined-congress-mp-duo/article32269142.ece

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