Chandigarh, May 11, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today urged Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore to dismiss the State government on grounds of breakdown of the constitutional machinery even as it condemned Congress ministers for browbeating the executive in the meeting of the council of ministers.
Addressing newsmen here, former minister Bikram Singh Majithia said the State cabinet should resign on moral grounds or be dismissed for refusing to acknowledge the head of civil service appointed by the chief minister. He also made it clear the entire drama had been enacted by the ministers to safeguard their illegitimate loot at the cost of the State exchequer.
Mr Majithia said the ministers took on the chief secretary because the latter had earlier in a pre-cabinet meeting pointed out that the State had incurred revenue loss because Congressmen were patronising illicit liquor and specifically pin pointed Bathinda district in this respect. “A free and fair inquiry by a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court is needed to unravel the entire Rs 2,000 crore scam”.
Mr Majithia rued that Punjab had been rendered rudderless at a time when the people were fighting a life and death situation and looking for relief and compassion. He said at a time like this, the State cabinet had made it clear that it was only concerned about sharing the spoils of the illicit liquor trade and not had nothing to do with the health system, distributing central ration to the people or giving relief to the common man.”That is why these issues were not even part of the official agenda today which was discussion on liquor only”.
While asserting that he was not a votary for any officer, Mr Bikram Majithia said the fact of the matter was that Mr Karan Avtar Singh had been handpicked by the government by superceding other officers. He said the officer had always been given outstanding reports during the Congress regime but had now turned “bad” suddenly four months before he was to retire. “It is clear that the ministers have ganged up against him as he is the last defence and bulwark of the system”.
Holding Finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal solely responsible for the present state of affairs, Mr Majithia said the FM had announced a short while back in the Vidhan Sabha that the State had become revenue surplus. “Now he is stating the opposite even though the lockdown happened in the last week of March when the financial year closes. The truth is that Punjab has been suffering a revenue loss every year.
Instead of owning up to his failures, the finance minister is trying to cover up his failures by picking on the chief secretary to assuage his ego even though he has left the excise policy to chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh. If the cabinet was to follow this line and wanted to make the chief minster accountable for the excise policy by abandoning the principle of collective responsibility it should have resigned enmass rather than making a laughing stock of itself”.
Stating that it was the people who were suffering even as the Congress ministers tried to bully bureaucrats to do their bidding, the Akali leader said Punjab had the worst mortality rate in the country as far as COVID-19 was concerned. He said even as the health system was in shambles, people were being denied ration which had led to one suicide already.
“There is no relief for either the Khet Mazdoor, daily wagers or the common man. Industry is failing to take off with the government not ready to lend a helping hand. The entire economy of the State has gone for a nosedive but all Congress ministers and legislators can think is of illicit trade of liquor”.