The issue of the Punjab Police providing security, pilot vehicle and manning route for former revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia during his travel across the state rocked the Cabinet meeting Thursday, with ministers demanding withdrawal of the “special treatment” to the Akali leader.
The issue was raised by Jails and Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who had brought along a copy of an internal communication of the police to a district police chief asking him to ensure that the SHOs en route should be made responsible for making adequate police security, route traffic and law and order arrangements in their areas for smooth passage of Majithia.
The communication reportedly states that the route may be searched from anti-sabotage angle and manned property. It also asks for providing pilot vehicle to him in the district.
Randhawa is learnt to have contended that since Punjab was the first state to do away with VIP culture and took away pilot vehicles from even ministers, Majithia was been accorded special treatment.
Other said that while the state police had made it clear that ministers would be provided security only at the destinations and on en route to the place, the Akali leader was being treated exceptionally despite not being a minister and no apparent threat.
Sources said Chief Minister Amarinder Singh took the internal communication of police from Randhawa and ensured he would look into the matter. Amarinder is the Minister of Home also. Randhawa was the one who had urged the CM to take action against Majithia in a drug case a few months ago. He had written a letter to the CM with 40 other Congress MLAs signing it.
The Cabinet also took a strong note of Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s outburst against the government for not appointing a single Dalit among 28 Law Officers named recently. Channi was not present in the Cabinet today.
While Randhawa raised the issue saying it was condemnable that Channi’s outburst came ahead of Shahkot byelection, Amarinder is learnt to have told the cabinet that Channi had himself recommended two names for the posts of Law Officers and both were Jat Sikhs, and not Dalits. “How could a minister who could not recommend Dalit names himself accuse the government of being partisan,” Amarinder is learnt to have asked a question.
Police sources said Majithia was given Z-plus security by the Centre and they were just abiding by that. Randhawa is learnt to have told the Cabinet that threat perception case was prepared by the state police and sent to the Centre.