Bajwa accuses Punjab CM of nepotism, demands AG Atul Nanda’s sacking

Bajwa accuses Punjab CM of nepotism, demands AG Atul Nanda’s sacking

The factional war within Punjab Congress took a fresh turn on Friday/

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 17

The factional war within Punjab Congress took a fresh turn on Friday with Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa accusing Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of nepotism in the appointment of state advocate general Atul Nanda.

He demanded the sacking of Nanda, in the interest of the state.

Bajwa, in an open letter to the CM on Friday, alleged that Nanda had only been appointed as AG Punjab because he was close to Amarinder Singh.

Read more: ‘None of your business’, says Capt Amarinder in response to Bajwa’s open letter

Bajwa’s latest attack on Singh comes days after Punjab Cabinet ministers sought disciplinary action against him, saying he was undermining the CM by attacking him publicly.

Bajwa had retorted saying he would not be browbeaten into silence and that he was solely responsible to the people of the state.

In his letter, Bajwa escalated the attack on Capt, accusing him, for the first time, of a charge as grave as nepotism.

“Nepotism is against the interests of the state and the appointment of Atul Nanda as Advocate General, Punjab, is a perfect example as his appointment had been solely guided by his proximity to you. The incompetence of the Advocate General to defend the interests of the state effectively is reflected in the repeated failures faced in the Courts in various critical cases. I would urge you to immediately sack the Advocate General in the interest of PUNJAB and appoint a competent person in his place,” Bajwa said in the letter.

The MP, also former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president, cited a series of alleged failures of Punjab government under the current AG.

“In the matter of Court on its wwn Motion versus Punjab, (PIL on drug menace) Atul Nanda took multiple adjournments on various occasions without paying heed to the havoc that the current drug addiction is causing in Punjab which shows his insensitivity to such a crucial matter. Till date (for two years), the sealed reports submitted by STF Chief and the Court-appointed SIT have not been opened which would expose those who are actually responsible for the drug menace in Punjab,” alleged Bajwa.

He said that it was the anti-drug agenda that drove Congress to power in the 2017 state elections.

“Government of Punjab and Congress is unable to face the public and the state’s inability to tackle this menace has filled the public with resentment. Resultantly, public has lost faith in the police machinery and is turning violent and holding anti-Congress emotions,” said the MP.

He said the current state of affairs has affected the socio-economic fabric of the state because people of all age groups are dying from drug addiction.

There is mass migration to foreign countries along with the transfer of funds as a result of which many villages and towns of Punjab have become abandoned, said Bajwa adding that it is the responsibility of Advocate General, Punjab to spearhead the fight against drug addiction by bringing those responsible to the ends of justice.

“AG’s inactions and indifference to the condition with which Punjab is surrounded has failed the government and the people of Punjab and the Congress Party,” said Bajwa.

He also cited the defeat of Punjab in Supreme Court concerning the transportation of coal causing loss of thousands of crore to Punjab Exchequer.

“The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday set aside the appointment of Suresh Kumar as Chief Principal Secretary to the CM ruling that he was holding the public office without authority. Quashing the e-auction notice on mining issued by the state in August 2018, the court directed that a fresh auction notice after defining the mining areas be issued within a period of three months and the auction process be taken forward,” said Bajwa in other instances of the alleged failure of AG.

He also mentioned the Punjab and Haryana High Court order shutting down all the tanneries in Jalandhar’s Leather Complex.

“The Bench made it clear that the directions would remain in force till further orders and till conformity to Environment (Protection) Rules and the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. This highlights the incompetence of Atul Nanda,” said Bajwa adding that in the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee case Punjab and Haryana High Court reprimanded Nanda stating that they would have resolved the matter in one hour so why could the government not do the same.

Bajwa also mentioned the matter of sacrilege cases saying the accused were released on bail.

“Even the issue of investigation of the case being with CBI or Punjab was botched up,” the MP said the demanding sacking of Nanda.


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