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Punjab PCC chief asks CM Amarinder to scrap decision on government jobs for sons of sitting MLAs

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh (R) with Sunil Jakhar. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Amid the on-going turmoil in the Punjab Congress, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Sunil Jakhar targeted Captain Amarinder Singh Cabinet’s decision to give government jobs to the sons of two sitting Congress legislators and demanded scrapping of its decision.

Last Friday, the Punjab government decided to appoint Arjun Partap Bajwa and Bhisham Pandey, both sons of two Congress lawmakers, Fatehjang Singh Bajwa and Rakesh Pandey, as police inspector and naib tehsildar respectively.

The rationale for the Cabinet decision was that their grandfathers had been murdered by militants.

“Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh Ji must reverse the ill-advised decision,” Mr. Jakhar said in a statement that was released on Saturday, adding that charges of nepotism and political expediency would be levelled against the party.

“The decision is also, in my view, against the ethos and culture of neutrality followed by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and the Congress party as a whole,” noted the PCC chief.

Mr. Jakhar, who is expected to be changed as part of a PCC revamp exercise, asserted that key decisions of the State Cabinet such as implementing the pay commission recommendations, regularisation of safai karamcharis and other pro-employee measures got overshadowed by the news of government jobs for the sons of MLAs.

‘Gratitude & compensation’

“No question of rescinding #PunjabCabinet decision on jobs for sons of 2 @INCPunjab MLAs. It is just a small token of gratitude & compensation for the sacrifices of their families. It's shameful that some people are giving political colour to this decision,” the Punjab Chief Minister tweeted on Saturday.

Notwithstanding the official explanation, the decision regarding the two MLAs follows a political re-alignment between Capt. Singh and his former critics to take on Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is now leading the dissidence against the Chief Minister.

Mr. Fathehjang is the sitting MLA of Qadian constituency and the brother of former PCC chief and Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh Bajwa.

Once a bitter critic of the Chief Minister, Mr. Bajwa has now joined hands with Capt. Singh to take on Mr. Sidhu.

The Amarinder-Bajwa duo in Punjab has been formed to send a clear signal to the All India Congress Committee (AICC) that the high command cannot “force” any decision regarding the cricketer-turned-politician.

The three-member AICC panel, set up to resolve Punjab factionalism, had recommended to “suitably accommodate” Mr. Sidhu. However, the high command has to now deal with the Amarinder-Bajwa duo before any compromise can be worked out.

On June 22, the Punjab Chief Minister is expected to meet head of the three-member AICC panel and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge towards resolving the Punjab crisis.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 3:06:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/punjab-pcc-chief-asks-cm-amarinder-to-scrap-decision-on-government-jobs-for-sons-of-sitting-mlas/article34864565.ece

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