Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday held a meeting with administrative secretaries and deputy commissioners of the state to discuss administrative matters as well as good governance in the state. The meeting was also attended by the state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, who does not hold any official position in the government.
Jakhar was given the pride of place in the meeting and seated next to Capt Amarinder Singh.
In the meeting, Amarinder directed the DCs and administrative secretaries to address all issues raised by the MLAs with respect to the problems of the common man and duly apprise them of the action taken.
The CM, however, made it clear that political interference of any kind will not be tolerated in matters of governance. Ironically, these statements were made as a political leader with no government or constitutional position was sitting besides the Chief Minister.
The Aam Aadmi Party reacted strongly to office-bearer of a political party being allowed to attend a government meeting.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Sukhpal Khaira, said: “The CM must explain in what capacity has the state Congress president been allowed to sit in the meeting with administrative secretaries when he does not hold any constitutional post. Does Amarinder want to colour the whole administration in Congress colours.”
When contacted, Raveen Thukral, Media Adviser to the Chief Minister, justified the presence of Jakhar at the meeting by saying that that state government has adopted the Congress manifesto as it policy programme. “The review of various policies and programmes was being done and discussions were being held on how the implementation has to take place. In any case, before Jakhar, the Chief Minister was also holding the office of the Congress president so it is not an issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sunil Jakhar conceded that he was present at the meeting at the CM’s invitation.
“I was invited because this government has decided that the implementation of Congress manifesto will be done in all seriousness and not like previous government which just talked about ease of doing business and good governance,” he said.