Chandigarh: Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s statement that a panel of IPS officers was constantly sought from the Punjab government before the sudden removal of UT SSP Kuldeep Singh Chahal from the post has embarrassed the ruling Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab.
Purohit’s reaction came in the wake of comments made by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
The CM, in a letter to the Governor a day earlier, had protested that only an IPS officer of Punjab cadre could be posted to the post of SSP, Chandigarh. Therefore, if the Chandigarh administration had decided to transfer the SSP, then a panel should have been sought from the state government before that.
The Chief Minister had also opposed giving temporary charge of the post to a Haryana cadre IPS officer. A two-page letter has been issued by the Raj Bhavan following the remarks made by the Chief Minister. Through this letter, the Governor has confronted CM Bhagwant Mann and said that it is necessary to examine the facts before writing the letter.
He said that there were reports of IPS officer Kuldeep Singh Chahal not performing his duties smoothly. Subsequently, in a telephonic conversation with state Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua on November 28, a panel of competent officers was sought to apprise him of the SSP’s attitude.
In his letter, the governor said UT DGP Praveer Ranjan had met the state chief secretary on November 30 in this regard and apprised him of all the facts and requested that the panel be sent. Purohit wrote that on the evening of November 30, the advisor to the UT administrator had also spoken to chief secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua over phone and sought a panel for the posting of ssp.
He said that on the same day (November 30), when the Chief Secretary met him (Governor), there was a discussion on sending the panel of UT SSP as soon as possible, among other issues. He said that Kuldeep Chahal was called on November 30 itself and informed that he will be transferred to home Punjab cadre.
CM was busy campaigning for the Gujarat elections
Referring to CM Mann’s campaign for the Gujarat assembly elections, the governor said in the letter that it was during this period that he (CM) was busy campaigning for the Gujarat assembly elections, so it was not possible to get in touch.
He said that it was also not justified to create a rift by making this issue Punjab versus Haryana as it was a temporary arrangement. He said that these facts should also be taken care of before writing.
On December 12, the Governor, in the capacity of UT administrator, had ordered the sudden expulsion of Kuldeep Singh Chahal from the post of SSP, Chandigarh. Chahal, a 2009-batch IPS officer of The Punjab cadre, was appointed in 2020 for a period of three years and has been dismissed from the post almost a year ago.