End VIP loot of tax payers’ money in Punjab in name of security

Jagtar Singh

Chandigarh, September 13: This loot in Punjab is perhaps like no other state in the country and on such extensive scale. This is blatant loot of the state exchequer by the political class in the name of security.

The people who enjoy this privilege also include who can be termed as antisocial, not just the members of the elite ruling class.

The issue is not being the rulers or in opposition as this does not matter to this class.

Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal has rejected  Rs 9 crore proposal to purchase new vehicles that include high end bullet proof Land Cruisers under the security head.

These high end vehicles are to be purchased for former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, his son and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal and former revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia. Their old vehicles need replacement.

Why should the state be burdened with security of these privileged people? It has nothing to do with the welfare of the people at large. The state government cite scarcity of resources for every small scheme that is pro-people. The answers given by the ministers in the Assembly should be analysed from this aspect.

Badal has been claiming for years that Punjab is among the most peaceful states in the country. He has completed three full terms as the chief minister after militancy was curbed.

If Punjab has been so peaceful, why should the state exchequer be burdened with their heavy security when they are out of power.

The level of security has come to acquire status symbol in this state with poor fiscal health.

It is just the level of security that changes with the change in the ruling party.  This is the only issue that binds the ruling class.

Congress in its manifesto had promised end to VIP culture.

However, red beacon alone is not the symbol of VIP culture. Security is the other aspect.

Punjab is one state where security has been provided to everybody who is somebody. Even the VIP brats arrogantly flaunt this privilege while out in Chandigarh markets.

There have been cases where even attack is faked to get security.

Not that there have not been moves to curtail security. The problem is that the formula is not applied uniformly but selectively.

In most of the cases, the security people are used as drivers.

A commando battalion has been stationed at Mohali for the protection of the chief minister, besides people from other security agencies. The chief minister’s residence has expanded from one palatial house to four, two of which are with the security people.

The caravan of the chief minister is too long. There is only slight reduction when the chief minister becomes ex-chief minister.

The budget of Rs 9 crore that Manpreet has struck down speaks for the level of loot by this class. These people can at least have vehicles of their own that they can very well afford.

Decision should be taken in principle to end this loot in the name of security. It would be a difficult decision but Punjab would have to return to normal governance by shedding such legacies of the days of militancy.

Jagtar Singh



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