Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Chandigarh, May 31
Ending days of suspense over the “bribe for job” racket, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday presented cricketer Jasinder Singh Baidwan before the media and claimed his predecessor Charanjit Singh Channi’s nephew Jashan had allegedly demanded Rs 2 crore for a government job.
Without naming Jasinder, Mann had on May 22 dared the Congress leader to make public the information about the cricketer, else he himself would do so on May 31.
The CM produced Jasinder and his father Manjinder Singh at a press conference. “It’s a pity he (Channi) swore at a gurdwara claiming not to have met any player? The bribe was sought for securing a Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) job during the previous Congress regime,” he said. Mann said Jasinder had represented Punjab in Ranji, Vijay Merchant, Cooch Behar and Col CK Naidu tournaments, among others.
Mann said Jasinder had scored 198.5 in the PPSC examination over three years ago, which was far above the cut-off percentage of 132.5 in sports category. “The player, however, was considered in general category instead of sports quota where he was the topper,” the CM said. He said Jasinder and his father first approached then CM Capt Amarinder Singh, who said the case would be taken up in a Cabinet meeting. “But that didn’t happen as he had to resign. They next contacted Channi and were directed to meet Jashan. He told them their work would be done and raised a demand for “two”. The father-won duo returned with Rs 2 lakh. Jashan and Channi angrily asked the cricketer ‘have you won an Olympics medal?’, and that ‘two means Rs 2 crore’,” the CM said, adding his government would provide Jasinder a job as per merit.
Rejecting the allegations, Channi maintained Jasinder’s plea for being considered under sports quota was dismissed twice by the High Court. Addressing the media, Channi said Mann was out to “defame and harass him, his family and close relatives due to vested political interests”. “The cricketer has been lured with a government job for speaking against me. Neither me nor my nephew have ever met him,” said the ex-CM, who was accompanied by Jashan, Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa and former minister Pargat Singh.
Pargat dared Mann to give Jasinder a job. “If he is considered for a job, there are about 3,000 such players in Punjab who too will have to be given jobs. Only a few cricketers who have played for India have been considered for jobs,” he said.
Bajwa called it a tactic by the CM to divert attention from allegations of sexual abuse against minister Lal Chand Kataruchak and delay in registration of a case against ex-minister Fauja Singh Srari.
Cong leader says AAP all out to fix him, kin
The player’s plea was rejected twice by the HC… lured with job for speaking against me. — Charanjit Channi, ex-CM
Channi’s nephew told the player his work will be done... provided he gives Rs 2 cr. — Bhagwant Mann, Punjab CM
Jasinder Baidwan — the man in limelight
Jasinder has represented Punjab in Ranji and other tournaments; was part of the IPL Punjab Kings team, but not in playing XI
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