BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh today said that the Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab is creating undue controversy over the repatriation of Chandigarh SSP Kuldeep Singh Chahal to gain political mileage.
He said the Punjab Governor had already sent a message to send a fresh panel for the SSP replacement to the Punjab government way back on November 30. “It’s purely an administrative decision,” he said.
Targeting Punjab Chief minister, he said Bhagwant Mann missed the missive was because he has been on political tourism all these days. “He had no time to address administrative matters,” he added.
He said Mann should attend to the state more seriously than playing cheap politics with the people of the state.
The decades-long dispute between Punjab and Haryana has surfaced again – over the appointment of a senior police officer in the joint capital city of Chandigarh this time.
The administration and policing in Chandigarh are run by officers of both the Punjab and Haryana governments. According to tradition, a police officer belonging to the Punjab cadre holds the post of the SSP (law and order), while the position of SSP (traffic) remains with an officer of the Haryana cadre.
However, Chandigarh Administrator and Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit recently replaced Punjab cadre police officer Kuldeep Singh Chahal with Haryana’s Manisha Chaudhary as the SSP (law and order) in a departure from the established tradition of administrative appointments.
Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann wrote a letter to Purohit expressing his anger over the removal of the 2009-batch IPS officer.
On Monday night, the Administrator, by an order, repatriated Chahal to his home cadre even though around 10 months were left for his 3-year-old deputation to the UT to complete. He was appointed the Chandigarh SSP in October 2020.
Expressing shock over the development, CM Mann wrote to Governor Purohit, “As you know that officers from the Punjab cadre have been serving as the SSP of Chandigarh, while officers of the Haryana cadre traditionally hold the post of deputy commissioner.”
He further said, “I was shocked to note that Kuldeep Singh Chahal was sent back before the scheduled time period and the charge was given to an IPS officer of the Haryana cadre. This step will disturb the balance in the functioning of the Union Territory of Chandigarh.”
The chief minister said that the Chandigarh Administrator should have sought a recommendation from the Punjab government to appoint a new officer to the post.
Punjab will soon recommend a panel of an IPS officer for appointment as the Chandigarh SSP, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said.
This is the third occasion in the last eight months of the AAP government in Punjab that the chief minister and the Governor have come face to face. Earlier, differences emerged between the duo over summoning a session of the Punjab Assembly and the appointment of the vice-chancellor of Panjab University.
Meanwhile, the ruling AAP has launched an attack on the Central government, accusing it of trying to rob the state’s rights. State AAP spokesperson Manvinder Singh Kang has alleged that the Centre is misusing Raj Bhavan.
“This order is an attempt to interfere with the rights of the Punjab state. A conspiracy is being hatched to weaken Punjab. AAP will oppose it. The removal of the SSP is unconstitutional.”