Chandigarh:The Congress has formed the government in Punjab with a promise to go humble by shunning the VIP culture from the state, but the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s Cabinet colleague Sadhu Singh Dharamsot is an exception to the party’s poll manifesto that was also approved and accepted by the state government in the first Cabinet meeting held two days after the swearing-in ceremony.
Dharamsot, who is an MLA from Nabha, courted controversy after a purported video went viral showing him threatening a government school principal in Nabha on Friday.
In the video, Dharamsot could be seen threatening a lady principal of the Government Senior Secondary School (Girls), Nabha of issuing her suspension orders. The provocation was just the inscribing of the minister’s name on the third position whereas he wanted to see it on the right top.
The school staff tried to convince the minister that he was not the chief guest but a special guest on the occasion and the names above his name were of the donors, who contributed Rs 50 lakh for the construction of the building, which was to be inaugurated on the day. The ‘power intoxicated’ minister, however, refused to go by the justification and heard using rough language to the female principal in the presence of all.
However, while facing media query, Dharamsot first denied any such thing happened but later he tried to cover up the gaffe by saying that he doubted the bungling of funds in the construction of 14 rooms of the new academic block, to inaugurate which he had come.
“I did not say this,” he said when asked him about his alleged threat to the principal. But when reminded that everything was captured in video cameras, the minister said, “I have not said anything on record. What I am saying now before the press is on record. Inside hundreds of things happen.”
The fuming Dharamsot then scolded one of his associates as he (associate) tried to speak on the issue. Controlling his aggression, the minister then asked the media to repeat the question with also explaining that he had accidentally come for the inauguration from community side.
In his face-saving move, the minister even added that he sensed corruption in the construction of the building, “I think the amount spent on the building is too much.”
However, the school Principal Nishi Jalota, whom he had issued suspension threat a few minutes back, took a stand and asked the minister to get it investigated with also mentioning that she was ready for any kind of inquiry.
The speechless minister then opted to leave the place in a hurry.
The school staff later informed that the building that comprised of 14 classrooms was constructed at the cost of Rs 1.3 crore of which Rs 50 lakh were donated by two former students of the school, Manju Mangal and her industrialist brother Rakesh Kumar. The two had also put efforts for the building as a tribute to their late mother Santosh Devi, who wished to work for girls’ education.
It was also learnt that the then DGSE Krishan Kumar had formed a committee to get the work done and in construction, finding it a goodwill gesture, the school staff had also contributed a good enough sum of money. The remaining amount was put in by the state government.
As the video went viral on Friday, different organisations, unions and political parties took strong notice of the Congress Minister’s gesture and demanded an unconditional apology from him.