7 July : Qila Raipur MLA Jassi Khangura today asked the Akali led government to clarify its true intentions regarding the post of the Deputy Chief Minister.
He queried “notwithstanding that there is no constitutional provision for this post, why was there no need for the first 2 years of the government and why there was a sudden need to appoint Sukhbir Badal this January?
He added that if there was a critical need then, surely there is one now, especially as the economy has tanked, the power crisis the worst in history and the government reeling and failing on almost every front.
Khangura stated “If the requirement persists then the government should appoint a Deputy Chief Minister now to take over the duties performed until recently by Sukhbir Badal” before adding that “this post should be offered to the BJP” to ensure appropriate distribution of powers and checks on the abuses committed by the Akalis.”
As the state currently has no Deputy Chief Minister, Khangura suggested “this government should appoint one forthwith with a commitment that this post would then not be changed till the end of the term of this government.”
Khangura then added “Either fill the vacant post now or abolish it. In the absence of either action the public will safely assume that this post is merely a tool of the Badal family to concentrate more power into their murky hands and to continue to bludgeon their alliance partners whose meek protests fool nobody for there is no underlying intent, just superficial posturing.”
Khangura also questioned the need for Sukhbir to announce his resignation much before the end of the 6 month provision, stating “Why could Sukhbir not have gone to the Vidhan Sabha to explain to all the members the precise reasons for his resignation” before adding that “this would have allowed the opposition members an opportunity to cross examine Sukhbir on this important issue.”
On the timing of the resignation Khangura stressed “Is it not the case that Sukhbir knows that he is in a constitutional fix, his actions since his coronation illegal and his intentions insincere. Why is he running scared from the house and the public in this issue?”
On the on-off love affair with the Akali party Khangura suggested to the BJP “either take your grievances and demands, including the demand for the post of the Deputy Chief Minister, to their logical conclusion by extracting some tangible concession from your untrustworthy partners, or withdraw your support. Not to do so would lead the BJP workers to assume that the BJP’s support to the Akalis is merely for the benefit of the BJP ministers who hold plum and creamy posts, whilst the BJP workers continue to time and again suffer merciless bruising from the goons employed by the Akalis.”