Punjab CM to Pratap Singh Bajwa: 'Don't attack DGP, write to me'
Taking strong exception to Congress MP Pratap Singh Bajwa's attack on the integrity and fairness of Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday asked Bajwa to write to him, or to the party high command in Delhi if he had any grudge or complaint against the state government.
Tearing through Bajwa's letter to DGP Gupta, the Chief Minister said it reflected the Rajya Sabha MP's total "frustration and desperation" and exposed his own "shameless lies" in the matter.
"By his own admission, Bajwa had been highlighting what he alleges to be the politico-police-drug nexus, production and distribution of illicit liquor, under state patronage and rampant illegal mining in Punjab," Captain Amarinder pointed out, adding that if the state government had to take any vindictive action it would not have waited for the centre to provide him security.
"Have we not tolerated his criticism of the state government all this time?", the Chief Minister quipped, adding that even the opposition parties in the state could not accuse his government of being spiteful.
Making it clear that withdrawal of the state security to the Congress MP was his decision, as home minister, based on the intelligence inputs from the Punjab Police, the Chief Minister said Bajwa's personal attack on the DGP was not only misplaced but also against the culture and ethos of the Congress party, of which he is a senior member.
"If he (Bajwa) does not have confidence in me or my government, why has he not approached the party high command all this time with his grouses? Does he have no faith even in them?" asked the Chief Minister.
"Bajwa was not the only person in Punjab whose security personnel had been withdrawn since the outbreak of COVID-19, which required cops to be diverted to pandemic duty. As many as 6,500 cops had been pulled out of personal security in the interest of the state," said Singh, adding that only six of these personnel came from Bajwa's security.
The decision on the state police security withdrawal from Bajwa was taken only after he got 25 personnel from the CISF under the Z security provided to him by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), pointed out the Chief Minister.
Captain Amarinder further said that the security threat to the Badals, which Bajwa continues to harp on to justify his baseless charges against the state government and police, had been identified by the same Punjab Police, whom the MP was accused of partisanship. "It was illogical to believe that a police force which was providing security to leaders of an opposition party would withdraw police personnel from an MP of the ruling party unless without good cause," he added.
Even if Bajwa considers personal security as a prestige symbol, which seems to be the case, his ego should be satisfied by the fact that he has a security posse of more than 25 CISF personnel, the Chief Minister said. He further pointed out that it was, in fact, the MHA that had, in 2019, decided that Bajwa's no longer required Z security as there was "no specific input indicating any specific threat" to him.
"Unfortunately, by looking at this whole affair with his own myopic vision, Bajwa had once again shown lack of political maturity," the Chief Minister said. He further alleged that by accusing Punjab police of politicisation of threat assessment, the MP was trying to lower the morale of a force whose credentials were above board, and which had been successfully protecting Punjab and its people from the grave threats of terrorism, narco-terror, mafia and gangsterism for the past more than 3 years.
"Does Bajwa really believe, and wants people to believe, that a police force which lacks propriety, independence and professional ethics, as alleged by him, would have achieved all this?" asked the Chief Minister.