Chandigarh, Oct 26 (IANS) The controversy over a senior Punjab cabinet Minister sending indecent messages to a senior woman IAS officer has taken a new turn, with a woman leader of the ruling Congress in Punjab claiming that no complaint has been made against the Minister.
Congress party in-charge for Punjab Asha Kumari told rhw media here on Friday that no action was being contemplated against Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi as the party had received no complaint.
Asha Kumari’s statement is contrary to a statement earlier by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that the matter was brought to his notice and that it was “resolved” to the satisfaction of the concerned woman officer.
Amarinder Singh, who admitted that the matter came to his knowledge about one month back, had said that the Minister apologized to the woman officer.
The Chief Minister, now visiting Israel and Turkey, had said on Wednesday that the matter relating to the reported objectionable message to the woman officer had been “taken very seriously” and, to the best of his knowledge, resolved to the officer’s satisfaction.
“The matter was brought to my notice some weeks ago and I had asked the Minister to apologize and sort it out with the officer. I understand he had done so to the satisfaction of the officer and thus the matter was resolved,” the Chief Minister said.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday condemned Congress President Rahul Gandhi “for assigning party General Secretary for Punjab Asha Kumari to cover up the misdeeds of Minister Charanjit Singh Channi”.
“Asha Kumari’s statement would be remembered in history as the first instance when someone who had already admitted his mistake was being given a clean chit. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has already disclosed that after the complaint by the IAS officer was received by him, Channi had apologized to the woman,” Badal said in a statement.
“When the Chief Minister has acknowledged Channi’s guilt, how is Asha Kumari giving him a clean chit?”
“The matter should be taken up officially and investigated by a harassment panel following which action should be taken against Channi as per the law. In the meantime he should be sacked from the cabinet,” Badal said.