Fireworks at Punjab Cupboard assembly as Jakhar, Randhawa supply to resign over Kotkapura SIT probe challenge

Rajmeet Singh

Today News Online Service

Chandigarh, April 26

Fireworks were witnessed at Punjab Cabinet meeting on Monday during over two-hour long discussion on the situation arising after quashing of IG Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh-led SIT probe by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, as a decision was taken to reconstitute SIT and also file a limited SLP in Supreme Court with regard to observation and conclusion of the high court which were beyond its remit and even at times beyond the law.

Upset over the political and administrative failure of the government in taking the SIT probe in the Kotkapura police firing incident to its logical conclusion due to shoddy handling of the investigation, PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar and Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa are learnt to have offered their written resignation. However, CM Capt Amarinder Singh is learnt to have rejected the same.

Joining the issue, Technical Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Charanjit Channi is said to have told the Chief Minister that the responsibility of giving justice to people of Punjab lied on his shoulders, provided there was conviction and willingness to do so. The ministers wanted responsibility fixed of the officers who acted an impediment in the probe.

Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, DGP Dinkar Gupta, Advocate General Atul Nanda, Justice Mehtab Singh Gill (retd) and Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) were also present in the meeting.

The issue flared when the Chief Minister expressed his annoyance over some ministers attacking their own government outside. “The Chief Minister while praising some of the ministers dealing with the COVID situation said those who did not have faith in him were free to resign from the cabinet. One of the ministers pointed out that it was the prerogative of the Chief Minister to keep or remove any minister,” said a minister.

It is learnt that Sukhjinder Randhawa also pointed out a pre-cabinet meeting of some of the ministers called by Sports Minister Rana Gurmeet Sodhi. Aiming at Sodhi, the PPCC chief too joined the issue before the Chief Minister prevailed.

“Who is responsible for embarrassing the Congress government, when the DGP and AG have said they were not involved in the SIT probe by IG Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh? Why action is not being taken against the IG for leaving gaps in the probe, if any,” asked another minister.

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