Sarvesh Kaushal, Industries Minister in tussle over appointment of V-C of tech varsity
THE LATEST (June 2016) issue of ‘Kamal Suneha’, mouthpiece of the Punjab unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has in its editorial stated that Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal should be “restrained from making political comments”. The remarks come in the wake of the ongoing tussle between Kaushal and Industries Madan Mohan Mittal, who also holds the technical education portfolio, over the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab State Technical University. Recently, while speaking to The Indian Express, Mittal had accused the Chief Secretary of overstepping his brief as a bureaucrat and challenging the authority of a minister.The BJP mouthpiece’s editorial is being seen as a direct message to the state government that the party, which is in alliance with the SAD, takes a serious view of the running feud in which the BJP minister is shown in poor light. Mittal had also taken up with the party’s state leadership the issue of Chief Secretary’s role in thwarting the appointment of a desired Vice-Chancellor for the university. The matter came up for discussion during the core committee meeting held recently in which the president of the party and Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Vijay Sampla, was present along with the party affairs in-charge, Prabhat Jha, and other senior stat leaders including the four BJP cabinet ministers. Mittal had on previous occasions demanded that the Chief Minister should take note of the utterings and actions of the Chief Secretary and that he should suo moto take action against him. He had also accused Kaushal of having made attempts to create rift between the state and the central government on several issues, including that of the Satluj Yamuna Link canal. Apart from commenting on the Chief Secretary, the editorial has also touched upon the issue of the recent attacks on religious as well as political personalities in the state. It says the state government needs to tone up the intelligence apparatus in Punjab in view of the recent murderous attacks on religious and political figures in the state. The reference is to the attack on Sant Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale in Ludhiana where one of his supporters was killed as also the attacks that have been carried out on some office-bearers of Hindu organisations in the state. The editorial has also taken potshots at Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt Amarinder Singh over his recent visit to North America. It goes on to state that the Punjabis have been “hurt” and “shamed” by the manner in which Amarinder was made to scoot during his foreign our and also by the photographs of ‘Bibi Aroosa’ (Capt Amarinder’s friend) going viral on the internet.t,