Monthly Archives: FEBRUARY 2018
Rescind the pejorative appointment of M.K Kalohia as PSEB Chief
27.02.18 - Bir Devinder Singh
SAS Nagar: Appointment of Manohar Kant Kalohia, a retired IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre, as Chairman of the Punjab School Education Board is an exceedingly stupid decision of the Government of Punjab. His appointment is an insult to all the experienced educationists, academicians of high caliber, serving and the retired bureaucrats of Punjab; who have all varied experience of serving in Punjab in various capacities for a long period of time. There is no dearth of highly knowledgeable wide ranging veterans from the field of education in Punjab to occupy this position. I wonder why Capt. Amarinder Singh preferred to chose a retired bureaucrat from Rajasthan, who neither knows Punjabi Language nor is conversant with the curriculum of the Punjab schools.
Punjab School Education Board is responsible to design the modules of school curricula from nursery classes up to class 12, printing and publication of text books required for school education (Punjab specific) and conduction of exams. It is for the first time, breaking all the previous precedents, a person from outside Punjab has been super-imposed on the Board (PSEB) in brazen violation of the dignity of Punjab by contemptuously hurting the ethos of academic decency.
Ideally a person having a sense of responsibility and belongingness to Punjab should have been selected. It would have deemed more appropriate if a high value search committee had been constituted to find a suitable person from Punjab who could then be appointed as Chairman PSEB. A selection pattern based on merit, as was used for selecting the Vice Chancellors of Punjabi University Patiala and Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar, could have been used.
I am afraid, some kind of ‘demon ghost of Rasputin’ has stranglehold on the wisdom of Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder, which explains his resorting to such ridiculous decisions, without application of mind. Even a referendum of class 8th school children would condescendingly reject the appointment of Kalohia as Chairman of the Punjab School Education Board, if their opinion on the matter is sought. Therefore I would appeal to the conscious of the Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, to immediately rescind the pejorative appointment of Kalohia by honoring the sentiments of the academia of Punjab.
I would also ask the gentleman, Manohar Kant Kalohia against whom I have no personal prejudice, to not join the office in his new position as it is bound to propel very serious rebellion against his illogical appointment in utter disregard of the sentiments of the people of Punjab.
Writer is Former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
'PUNJAB HASN’T FORGOTTEN SAD’S ECONOMIC TERRORISM IN THE STATE'
Punjab's destroyer masquerading as its saviour: Sidhu takes a dig at Sukhbir
Chandigarh: Punjab Local Government Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has derided Akali leader Sukhbir Singh Badal for masquerading as the saviour of the people of Punjab after destroying their interests during his party’s 10-year misrule of the state.
It was hilarious that the man who was responsible for leaving the state and its people devastated was now pretending to be its messiah, said Sidhu, reacting to Sukhbir’s theatrics at the Heritage Street in Amritsar yesterday.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president had, with his absurd posturing, once again exposed himself as a frivolous politician who was perpetually trying to play to the public gallery in a desperate bid to secure their attention ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, said Sidhu, in a statement issued here on Tuesday.
The people of Punjab, however, had not forgotten the misdeeds of the Badals, whose infinite greed had subjected them to immense suffering during their decade-long rule, said Sidhu, describing the period from 2007 to 2017 as one of economic terrorism.
The people of Punjab were just beginning to recover from the militant terrorism unleashed from across the border from 1980 to 1990 when the Badal-led economic terrorism hit them with full force, destroying the last vestiges of the state’s progress, he added.
During their regime, the Badals and their coterie had led the Akalis in grabbing all the businesses of the state, from transport to cable to mining, hospitality and more, plunging Punjab into a financial mess from which the Captain Amarinder Singh led government was battling hard to pull out the state, Sidhu further said.
Describing Sukhbir as the most hated politician ever, Sidhu said the people of Punjab were not ready to forgive him or the SAD, which they had unambiguously dumped during the Assembly polls. This was evident from the performance of SAD in various elections in the past one year, including MC polls as well as the Gurdaspur by-election in the state, he added.
Referring to Sukhbir and his family’s histrionics over the visit of the Canadian Prime Minister, Sidhu pointed out that SAD’s own ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had delivered a resounding slap to the dignitary by sidelining him during the visit. Sukhbir, however, took a stand contrarian to that of the BJP, proving to the latter that he could not be trusted at all, the Cabinet Minister pointed out, asking how the people of Punjab could trust the SAD president when their own ally no longer had faith in him.
Amarinder flays attempts to politicise OBC case through unfounded allegations
CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has flayed attempts to politicise the Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) case with unsubstantiated charges against his son-in-law, who is a minority shareholder with a mere 12.5% share in Sambhauli Sugars, and was being unnecessarily dragged into the controversy.
In a statement issued here, the Chief Minister said that, as per information available with him, the alleged fraud, which was at the centre of the case, had been the subject matter of court proceedings before the DRT in a recovery suit filed by the Bank, which was settled between the company and OBC, and was recorded by DRT Lucknow by way of a consent order dated March 16, 2015.
Further, Amarinder said he had been told that Gurpal Singh, who was a law-abiding citizen, had even refused to sign any documents to give any personal guarantee against the loan in question, forcing OBC to amend the loan document on February 12, 2015, thus waiving off the requirement of Gurpal Singh’s signature on any guarantee documents.
Political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), were targeting Gurpal Singh only because of the OBC director’s personal relationship with him, said Captain Amarinder, lambasting them for making baseless allegations without bothering to verify the facts, only to secure political mileage.
The fact was that Gurpal had actually been litigating against Sambhauli Sugars, for his rights as Director and shareholder, before the National Company Law Tribunal, as he had been kept out of all major decisions and the working of the company, which was reportedly a matter of court record, said the Chief Minister, citing information received.
In the circumstances, and given these facts, the political attack on his son-in-law was ludicrous, he said, adding that even a cursory check of the case background would have revealed that Gurpal had no role in the entire affair.
It was evident that the issue was being deliberately sought to be politicised, with the farming community also being unnecessarily dragged into the whole affair, said Amarinder. Pointing out that the farming community in the country was already a highly beleaguered lot, the Chief Minister condemned any attempt to pull them into the case for political gains.
All the vital and true facts would emerge before the judicial courts when the CBI case is taken up by them, said the Chief Minister, urging the political parties and the media to stop indulging in baseless statements and reporting.
Order probe into son’s involvement in the “Goonda” tax scam: Khaira to Amarinder
CHANDIGARH: Leader of opposition Sukhpal Khaira while addressing media persons, demanded a high level impartial inquiry by either the CBI or a sitting judge of the High Court to probe charges of extortion of "Goonda” tax leveled by two major companies undertaking construction work at the second phase of Bathinda oil refinery.
Khaira said the M/s Sam (India) Builtwell Pvt.Ltd. and Asok Bansal owner of RMC plant have sent written complaints to the DC, SSP Bathinda and the Chief Justice respectively. Khaira said as per their complaints there is a deep nexus between mafia collecting "Goonda” tax and politicians belonging to both the Congress as well as the Akali Dal. Khaira said it was very unfortunate that the extortion of "Goonda” tax had been going on ever since the Bathinda oil refinery had been set up. But the said "Gonda” tax snowballed into a major controversy when the politicians belonging to the ruling Congress party began severely arm twisting the companies and contractors.
Khaira said one Aman Sidhu r/o V. Bangi Kalan in Talwandi Sabo is the main conduit collecting "Goonda” tax at behest of his political masters first the Akali leaders and now the Congress MLA’s. Khaira said Aman Sidhu who now poses as a Congress leader is the brother of Raman Sidhu and Happy Sarpanch who is a hardcore Akali leader.
Khaira said earlier Aman Sidhu was backed by Akali Minister Sikander Singh Maluka through Happy Sarpanch and later with the change of guard Gurpreet Singh Kangar MLA started shielding and promoting him. Khaira said Aman Sidhu is managing collection of "Goonda” tax through the firms namely Satguru Peer Builders having partner M/s Mohindra Constructions managed by Narinder Singh Bhuleria Congress leader and relative of Gurpreet Kangar MLA.
Khaira said unable to work under intimidating circumstances owners of Sam India approached Jojo, brother in law of Manpreet Badal through Amarjeet Mehta of AP Milers Pvt. Ltd., also involved in providing sand and gravel in the refinery. Ultimately Aman Sidhu fearing loss of "Goonda” tax contacted Palvinder aka Pappi Adnia a very close aide of Raninder Singh Tikoo to keep his business flourishing. Khaira said there are concrete reports that CM’s son Tikoo finally prevailed upon the Bathinda refinery authorities and the said construction company Sam India Pvt. Ltd., to allocate major sand gravel work to Aman Sidhu.
Khaira said company owners have also recorded calls from one Gurbaksh Dhillon intimidating them and claiming to have the backing of CM house to collect "Goonda” tax. Khaira said if the CBI investigated the above said "Goonda” tax cartel, politicians named in the scandal and the owners of Sam India Pvt.Ltd. and Northern Logistics Pvt.Ltd., the connection of Raninder Singh Tikoo and his very close aide Pappi Adnia is bound to come to the fore.
Khaira said it was because of the nefarious activities of such mafia backed by politicians of both Congress and SAD, that Punjab was loosing investments leading to further decline of its graph as a safe destination for business.
Khaira demanded that since the needle of suspicion has been directly pointed towards the CM’s son, Capt. Amarinder Singh should order an impartial inquiry by the CBI or a sitting judge of the High Court, to clear the charges. Khaira also demanded that the government must calculate the quantum of "Goonda” tax collected over the years and ensure its recovery from the mafia and politicians, besides initiating criminal proceedings against them.
Names of PPSC members & Information Commissioners recommended to Gov
Chandigarh: A High-Powered Committee, headed by Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, on Thursday recommended six names to Governor, V. P. Singh Badnore, for appointment as members of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC). The Committee also recommended two names for appointment as Information Commissioners in the Punjab State Information Commission.
While names of Amar Partap Singh Virk (IAS), Gurpartap Singh Mann, Jamit Kaur Teji, Lok Nath Angra and Prof Neelam Grewal have been recommended for appointment as Official Members of the PPSC, Supreet Ghuman's name has been forwarded for the post of Non-Official Member.
For the appointment of Information Commissioners, the Committee has recommended the names of Khushwant Singh and Sanjeev Garg.
The high-powered committee of PPSC members appointments, comprising the Chief Minister, Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Rana KP Singh, and Leader of the Opposition Sukhpal Singh Kaira, considered the names of candidates shortlisted by the search committee before making the recommendation to the governor.
During the deliberations, Khaira objected to the inclusion of Lak Nath Angra and claimed that another shortlisted candidate was better qualified for the post.
While Khaira's dissent on the matter was recorded, Angra's name was agreed upon by the Chief Minister and the Speaker.
The high-powered committee for the appointment of Information Commissioners, which included Cabinet Minister Sadhu Singh Dharmshot, besides the Chief Minister and Khaira, also considered the names shortlisted for the posts by the search committee. Khaira raised objection to the inclusion of Sanjeev Garg but since the majority view of the Committee was in his favour, his name was recommended along with that of Khushwant Singh.