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Programme at Raj Bhavan by sacked office-bearers irks govt.

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Can’t call it govt. event, says Minority Development Minister

An invitation printed by the Punjabi Sahitya Academy (PSA) for a Gurbani recitation at Raj Bhavan has upset the State Minority Development Department, which has removed all office-bearers of the academy.

Department secretary Shyam Tagde has written to Raj Bhavan officials, saying the academy has not sought government permission for the January 20 programme.

The letter, which said the event has not been organised by the PSA, comes after office-bearers of the organisation refused to acknowledge the new government’s decision to remove them from their positions, to which they were appointed by the previous government.

According to the invitation, Rajan Khanna, executive chairman, PSA, the State government has organised the programme at Raj Bhavan.

Minority Development minister Nawab Malik, when asked about the letter, said, “[Mr. Khanna] has been removed from the position by the department. How can he conduct the event at the Raj Bhavan and call it a government programme? When this came to our notice, we informed Raj Bhavan about it.”

He said they were left with no option but to send the letter. “The government has cancelled all the appointments made by the previous government to all academies, including Urdu, Hindi, Sindhi and Gujarati. There will be fresh appointments. Therefore, we thought it was important to inform Raj Bhavan,” he said.

The PSA was set up by the previous government in October 2018.

Mr. Khanna said he has not received any communication regarding his removal from the academy. “We have all the permissions from the previous government and former minority development minister. The programme was fixed a long time ago. Whether it is a government programme or not, we will go ahead with it,” he told The Hindu.

He said Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari will also attend the event.

Sources in the Raj Bhavan said they will have to check whether they have received any communication from the department.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 11:20:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/programme-at-raj-bhavan-by-sacked-office-bearers-irks-govt/article30538423.ece

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