CHANDIGARH, February 19: Reiterating his charge that the Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal was trying to undermine and subvert the authority of the Punjab Public Service Commission for his vested interests, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh today said, it was not for the first time as Mr Badal had tried it in the past, in 2007, also when he sought to transfer the recruitments in Punjab Civil Services to the Union Public Service Commission.
Blasting the denials made by Mr Badal during a press conference on Thursday, Capt Amarinder said, it was surprising when Mr Badal, a self proclaimed votary of federalism and greater powers to states, wanted to forego the state’s authority and assign the job of the PPSC, a state constitutional body, to the UPSC, the central body.
The PCC President pointed out, on May 25, 2007, the cabinet subcommittee chaired by Mr Baal decided to refer appointments to key government posts to the UPSC. Same day the Chief Minister Mr Badal asked the Chief Secretary to make a request to the Chairman UPSC to initiate and complete the recruitment process of the ETOs within a definite time frame. It was only after the UPSC declined to take the responsibility which Mr Badal wanted to surrender to it, the state referred the vacancies to the PPSC and that too after a long time, Capt Amarinder disclosed.
Substantiating his charges against Mr Badal, Capt Amarinder asked him to explain as why there was such an inordinate delay in starting the process of appointing the PCS officers when there was an urgent need to fill the vacancies in the state and government had to reappoint the retired officers.
He pointed out, while the vacancies were pending for a long time the Badal government notified it in December 2009 only and took another year to conduct the preliminary exams in December 2010. “Now it wants to pack the PPSC with its own people so that it has a say in final appointments, hence this hue and cry”, he remarked, while adding, even the responsibility of the preliminary exam was given to one single officer of the commission while the members were not kept in loop.
Asserting that the vigilance was only trying to oblige the Badals, the PCC President asked, how was it that the contents of the report were selectively leaked to the media to serve a particular purpose and a vested interest. He asked why the vigilance has held back the names of the Akali and BJP ministers, MPs and MLAs who called up the PPSC members during the recruitment process.
“Obviously this was done at the behest of the Badals who wanted the Akali leaders to be shielded and protected while those having no protective shield of Akali cover and Badal goodwill were left to defend themselves of their own”, he observed.