With the Capt Amarinder Singh government under fire for announcing government jobs to kins of party MLAs, one of the beneficiary legislators today decided to refuse the offer even as the government tried to damage control by getting some ministers to defend it on the issue.
MLA Fatehjung Singh Bajwa has given in writing to the party high command that he does not require a government job for his son Arjun Bajwa. The Punjab MLA’s son was recently given a job as an Inspector in a Cabinet meeting. Apart from Bajwa the cabinet also cleared the appointment of MLA Rakesh Pandey’s son as Tehsildar. The decision had triggered a huge outcry from within the party against the chief minister.
Sources said that following stepped-up criticism, Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat was instructed by party high command to call the MLAs and asked them to turn down the offer. While Bajwa has, Pandey is yet to respond.
The issue of offering jobs to the MLA’s son has become a major embarrassment for the party.
Recently, PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar and other senior leaders opposed the decision to give jobs to the sons of party MLAs Fatehjung Bajwa and Rakesh Pandey.
At least five ministers Charanjit Channi, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Tript Bajwa, Sukhbinder Sarkaria and Razian Sultaan had strongly opposed the move during the Cabinet meeting.
Cautioning that the party would be accused of promoting nepotism, Jakhar had said, “Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh must reverse the ill-advised decision.”
Fatehgarh Sahib MLA Kuljit Nagra had said the people’s representatives must work for the people and not for personal gains.
“The Cabinet should rollback the decision. We should meet the promise of ‘ghar ghar naukri’ instead of giving jobs to the kin of MLAs who don’t need it,” he had said.