Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi said on Sunday that a new Director General of Police (DGP) would soon be appointed in consultation with Pradesh Congress Committee (CPC) chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and other ministers.
His comments came hours after Mr Sidhu tweeted that DGP Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota and Advocate General (AG) Amar Preet Singh Deol should be replaced, as their appointments are like “putting salt on the wounds of victims of the question of sacrilege ”.
Mr. Sidhu’s latest tweet comes just days after the chief minister asked him for a compromise after creating a surprise by resigning his post as head of the CCP to protest the appointments.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a government program to announce debt forgiveness for farm laborers and landless farmers, the chief minister said that according to law, the state government has already forwarded the names of all senior police officers with 30 years of experience at the center.
Now he is awaiting clearance from the Center for a panel of three names from which the new DGP would be appointed, a statement from the Office of the Chief Minister (CMO) said. The name would be finalized after consultation with Mr Sidhu, all ministers and deputies, the CMO’s statement added.
Mr. Channi also told reporters that a coordination committee had been formed for better coordination between the government and the CCP.
Earlier today, Mr Sidhu tweeted that not replacing the DGP and the Advocate General would leave Congress “faceless”.
“The demand for justice in cases of sacrilege and the arrest of the main culprits of drug trafficking brought our government into 2017 and due to its failure, People suppressed the last CM. Now the AG / CEO appointments are rubbing salt on the wounds of the victims, they have to be replaced or we won’t have a face, ”Mr Sidhu tweeted.
In an attempt to appease him, the Channi government appointed RS Bains special prosecutor in charge of handling all cases related to the sacrilege.
However, Mr Sidhu, whose status as head of the CCP is still unclear because he has not officially withdrawn his resignation, appeared to harden his stance a day after his tweet that he would stand alongside the Gandhis, “post or no post”.
“Will defend the principles of Gandhi Ji & Shastri Ji… Post or No Post will stand alongside @RahulGandhi & @priyankagandhi! May all the negative forces try to defeat me, but with every ounce of positive energy the Punjab will win, the Punjabiyat (Universal Brotherhood) will win and every Punjabi will win !! ”he tweeted on Saturday.
The cricketer-turned-politician, who has made Bargari’s sacrilege issue the main ballot ahead of next year’s Assembly polls, wants the DGP and GA to be changed for their roles, respectively , in the question of sacrilege.
His objection to Mr. Deol is that he defended former Punjabi police chief Sumedh Singh Saini, accused in the Behbal Kalan police dismissal case in 2015. Mr. Sahota angered Mr. Sidhu as the leader of a special investigation team into the sacrilege issue that allegedly gave the Badals a “grade mark.”