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Capt Amarinder Singh government in Punjab trapped in the credibility crisis

June 05, 2017 06:30 PM

By Satinder Bains
CHANDIGARH: Only three months after its formation,  the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh government in Punjab is caught in the credibility criris due to acts of ommission and commission by few of his cabinet colleagues. The government has not only failed in its promises but it has faulted on very issues on which Congress hounded the key political rival 'Badal family' during the election campaign.

The sand mining scam allegedly committed by Power and Irrigation minister Rana Gurjit Singh has shaked the foundation of Capt Amarinder Singh and has Perhaps present Congress government is the first such government which could not avail the benefits of 'honeymoon period' and erosion of its trust among common people started sooner than expected.

The sand mafia remained one of the core issues of last assembly elections in Punjab though Congeress had also promised to break the back of drug mafia within one month of forming government and also eliminate liquor, cable and transport mafia from Punjab. On ground the situation seems to be heading for the worst than the SAD-BJP government led by Parkash Singh Badal. It is jsut opposite happening with the Congress ministers and MLA's giving priority to grab the control of mafias and mint money like the predecessors did for ten years.

The most distuirbing factor is that Capt Amarinder Singh is publically defending his minister Rana Gurjit Singh who allegedly used his employees as proxy to grab sand mines. An impression was given that state government had earned ten times higher revenue than the SAD-BJP regime from auction of sand mines. The Minister and his friends were at the same time were busy in managing auctions with the help of officials of mining department. The real game plan was to take one sand mine at higher bid and under its garb make illegal mining in all adjoining mines which are not being autioned in the lot.

Rana Gurjit Singh is not the only minister who dented the image of Capt Amarinder Singh government. Earlier, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, the forest and social welfare minister publically threatened a school principla in Nabha to suspend her for not wiring his name on top of foundations tone. Dharamsot defeated the anti-VVIP culture stand of Capt Amarinder Singh.

The coutrie fo Capt Amarinder Singh which ruined his image in during his government between 2007-12 is back to business and except few ministers, most of cabinet members are not accessible and so is the case of Capt Amarinder Singh who depends on feedback from his team of OSD's and officials in the CMO. The Congress workers and even leaders at grassroot level have started feeling frustration from the set up in the government.

The main concern of the common people of state was to get rid of mafia rule, VVIP culture, deteriorated law and order situation and to see an end to monopoly of one family in cable, liqour and transport mafia. The people preferred Congress over Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) only due to commitments given by Capt Amarinder Singh. After three months, the mafia control in sand mining is only changing hands, liquor business is running as usual with partnership between SAD and Congress leaders, the cable mafia is still calling shots, the gangs are roaming free and there is no respite in cases of murders and rapes.

The number of farmers committing suicides is on the rise with over 60 farmers committing suicides in cour months. The under debt farmners were issued loan waiver letters signed by Capt Amarinder Singh. The unemployed youth who were promised job in every house see no hope in near future. The delay in delivery of promises is causing frustration among the masses and people feel cheated.

The two prime sectors of health and education are in bad shape and still no policy is framed to improve the working of two basis sectors. The health minister Brahm Mahindra and Education Minister Aruna Chaudhary are doing their bit to improve the system but their efforts are marred by shortage of funds and huge backlog of vacancies. Manpreet Singh the finance Minister and Navjot Singh Sidhu local bodies minister have been taking cosmetic steps to keep themselves in news and so is the case of technical education minister Charanjit Singh Channi who lacks trust of Chief Minister.

The media mismanagement by CMO officials is speaking volumes in the newspapers itself. The SAD-BJP government's policy of catering to select journalists and newspapers is still in place. 

The unhappiness shown by AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi over sand mining scam should be wake up call for Chief Minister and he need to come out of the shadow of his cotrie to reach out to people who wanted a change in system but not change of face to run the same rotten system. A government which has no guts to change the Director General of Police who headed the department during SAD-BJP government may not change the fortunes of people. Chief Minister has no trust in bureacracy and he depends of a retired chief secretary to run the business. After four months, Akali leaders are heading the corporations and agencies. Punajb Energy Development Autority(PEDA) is one example where writ of SAD leaders close to Bikram Majithia still prevails. It inly reflects lack of control on the administration.

Capt Amarinder Singh will get an opportunity in the proposed expansion and reshuffle of his cabinet. One must hope he would not lose this opportunity to shape uo the image of his government.

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