Punjab Cabinet Ministers Brahm Mohindra and Navjot Sidhu slug it out over surprise check on Patiala Mayor’s official residence

Capt Amarinder Cabinet clears modifications to lessen the load of litigation in govt departments
A Punjab Cabinet meeting in progress. -Photo courtesy Hindustan Times

The Hush Post: Two Punjab Cabinet Ministers Brahm Mohindra and Navjot Singh Sidhu, who both hail from Patiala, started sparring over a surprise check on the Patiala Mayor’s official residence by the Civil Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the Local Bodies Department. The ward of words was reported during a meeting of the Punjab Cabinet on Thursday at Chandigarh.

Health Minister Mohindra and some other senior ministers voiced their displeasure over the Local Bodies Department’s move against Patiala Mayor Sanjiv Bittu Sharma, who also hails from the Congress party is said to be close to former Union Minister and Chief Minister Capt Amarinder  Singh’s wife Preneet Kaur, a report said.

Local Bodies Minister Sidhu said there were media reports that tenders were floated for the renovation work that had already been done. Not convinced, his Cabinet colleagues called it a self-goal by Sidhu, the report said.

Towards its end, the meeting saw Sidhu alleging that a party leader in Amritsar was bad-mouthing him and that he was in close touch with the Chief Minister’s OSD.

Meanwhile, Mohindra, Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa, Rural Development Minister Tript Rajinder Bajwa and Irrigation Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria condemned Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi for raking up the issue of Dalits being “ignored” for government jobs, ahead of the Shahkot byelections, it was reported.

These ministers demanded that Channi, currently in England, be asked to explain his conduct, saying that Channi had embarrassed both the party and the government. At this CM Capt Amarinder  Singh reportedly told his colleagues that he had already spoken to Advocate General Atul Nanda on the issue and had called up Channi too, the report said.

Meanwhile, Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa apprised the Chief Minister while the practice of assigning VIP routes to ministers had been stopped, it was being followed in the case of ex-Akali minister Bikramjit S Majithia, who still enjoys Z Plus security, the report said.

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