Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has been caught in a controversy after the state cabinet approved jobs for the sons of two MLAs. However, in a joint statement, 9 out of 17 Punjab Ministers on Sunday have backed the cabinet ministry's decison of giving the jobs.
The ministers include Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Vijay Inder Singla, Aruna Chaudhary, Sunder Sham Arora, Gurpreet Singh Kangar, Balbir Singh Sidhu, OP Soni, and Bharat Bhushan Ashu.
In the statement, MPs Gurjeet Singh Aujla, Ravneet Singh Bittu, Jasbir Singh Dimpa and Mohammad Sadiq backed the govt's decision to give job to sons of two MLAs, terming it correct and in line with appointments given to similarly situated persons in the past
Earlier in the day, CM Captain Amainder Singh shunned the state Congress party chief Sunil Jakhar and two MLAs for questioning government's decision of giving jobs to sons of two legislators and urged the CM to roll back the "ill-advised" move.
However, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has defended the decision of appointing Arjun Pratap Singh Bajwa as an inspector in the Punjab Police and Bhisham Pandey as a naib tehsildar in the Revenue Department on "compassionate" grounds.
"'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.':@capt_amarinder," according to a tweet by the CM's media adviser.
Bajwa and Pandey are sons of Qadian MLA Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa and Ludhiana legislator Rakesh Pandey. The fact that their grandfathers had been gunned down by terrorists during Punjab militancy days was cited as the ground for compassion to make them gazetted, class B government servants, despite they themselves being sons of the ruling party MLAs.
Besides Jakhar, Congress legislators Kuljit Nagra and Amrinder Singh Raja Warring also expressed displeasure over the move. In a cabinet meeting on Friday, five ministers--Sukhjinder Randhawa, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Razia Sultana, Charanjit Singh Channi and Sukhbinder Sarkaria--were learnt to have also opposed this move.
(With agency inputs)