Updated: August 6, 2022 11:16:45 pm
Two days after meeting his MLAs in Chandigarh and asking then to be cordial with government functionaries following the uproar over the V-C controversy, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday met MLAs and volunteers and reiterate on being patient. Mann was addressing a gathering in Dhuri during a state-level function on awareness regarding ban on single-use plastic.
He said, “I want to tell this to my MLAs and volunteers that they should be patient. It is our own government. One should deal with officials with respect. They are not at fault, we need to see the system of working first.”
Earlier, on July 29, health minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra had forced Dr Raj Bahadur, vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, to lie on a dirty mattress in skin and VD department and questioned him as to why such a mattress with fungal growth was lying in the skin ward.
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The entire incident was videographed, a clip of which went viral , and Dr Bahadur resigned the same evening saying that he “felt humiliated”. Even as the government faced huge criticism, the mattress in question is yet to be replaced. Though the CM had conducted a close door meeting with his MLAs in Chandigarh on Wednesday, this was his first public statement after the controversy.
Elaborating on why it is not the officials’ fault, Mann said that the system doesn’t let them work. “In a school, if we say that a teacher is responsible for every wrong thing there, it will be incorrect. We need to see the condition of the school first. There are no benches, no drinking water facility, no proper bathroom. We have decided to not let the teachers do non-teaching work. The Centre asked us to provide 68,000 teachers for census work, but instead we suggested to hire 68,000 volunteers from our state. These volunteers can be trained and paid to do the work. This will not only enhance their resume but will also provide them an income.”He added,” We are gradually revamping the system in government departments and its results will be visible soon”.
Terming the Congress and SAD “dead wood” of Punjab politics, and targetting both the parties for their anti-people stance, Mann added that their leaders are living in a “fool’s paradise” and assuming that they are still in power. He said, “The leadership of both the parties is yet to overcome the trauma of the crushing defeat. Both the parties have cheated the people of Punjab one after another and now residents are impatient and want to get works done. I can understand the reason of their impatience. But we are gradually fulfilling our promises.”
Mann said that SAD chief Sukhbir Badal used to boast that they will rule Punjab for 25 years but the people have rejected him. “One should always fear time — it can turn a king to beggar and a beggar to king. During his days in power, he forgot that the people are supreme in a democratic set up and once you ignore them, they will not give you a chance,” the CM said. Questioning former CM Charanjit Singh Channi’s absence from the political arena, Mann said that if a CM candidate can disappear in such a way after losing elections, one can imagine the condition of other party workers.
He added that this is for the first time in the history of the state that a team of honest leaders is serving the people. “We will turn Punjab into a hub of medical education. Around 75 Aam Aadmi clinics will be opened on Independence Day where people will get quality healthcare services free of cost. As many as 16 medical colleges will be opened,” he said, adding that the students aspiring to pursue medical education will no longer have to go outside.
Meanwhile, reacting to Sukhbir Badal’s comment that Sanjh Kendra and Sewa Kendra were built by them and are now being used for making mohalla clinics, Mann said, “I want to tell Sukhbir that they were made with tax payers’ money and not from the personal funds of Badals. People were using them for making cattle dung cakes and stray animals were roaming around those places. Were these sewa kendras? These are government properties and we will use them the way we like. Mohalla clinics will be a first of its kind initiative and around 2,170 doctors, including 1,940 from Punjab, have applied for jobs.
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