The Hush Post: Mohali mayor Kulwant Singh has been suspended for blatant misuse of his position and causing grave losses to the state exchequer while making a purchase of a tree pruning machine. Local Government Minister, Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu Najot gave the final nod after the mayor, considered close to former deputy CM Sukhbir Badal, was found guilty in the report of the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO). The XEN, DCFA have also been suspended and three other officers have been chargesheeted.
The tree pruning machine was priced at Rs 28 lakh in India while for making its purchase from abroad the price was Rs 80 lakh. A resolution was passed for purchasing it at a whopping price of Rs 1.79 crore and orders were placed for its purchase. The orders placed for purchasing the machine have been cancelled promptly and the recovery of amount paid in advance to the contractor has also been ordered. Sidhu said in a statement that there would be zero tolerance towards corruption and nobody would be permitted to misuse the hard earned money of the taxpayers. Commissioner Rajesh Dhiman has been chargesheeted in accordance with the Punjab Civil Services (Punishment & Appeal) Rules 1970 Section 8 and case recommending his suspension has been sent to the concerned department. XEN Naresh Batta and DCFA Vinayak have also been suspended.
The mayor Kulwant Singh had fought elections to the Lok Sabha seat from Fatehgarh Sahib but lost, fought as an Independent and parted ways with Akali Dal for a while and joined them back.
ACE Mohinderpal and Surinder Goyal have both been chargesheeted and recommendation has been made for chargesheeting Internal Local Fund Auditor of the Municipal Corporation, Mohali.
In June last year, Navjot Singh Sidhu’s candor had left Mohali mayor Kulwant Singh red-faced when the cricketer-turned-politician advised him to do something concrete instead of talking ‘big’ to mislead public.