Minister’s messages to woman officer; Amarinder says ‘action taken’

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Wednesday that the matter relating to reported objectionable message of a minister to a woman officer had been “taken very seriously” and, to the best of his knowledge, resolved to the officer’s satisfaction.

“The matter was brought to my notice some weeks ago and I had asked the minister to apologise and sort it out with the officer. I understand he had done so to the satisfaction of the officer and thus the matter was resolved,” the Chief Minister, who is currently visiting Israel, said in a statement following media reports about the incident.

Punjab’s opposition parties, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), on Wednesday asked the Chief Minister to ‘unmask’ his cabinet colleague who had allegedly sent indecent messages to a woman Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer.

Demanding dismissal of the minister, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal asked the Chief Minister why he, as well as Congress president Rahul Gandhi, were dragging their feet in taking action against the minister.

In a statement, the SAD president said as per media reports, no action had been taken against the cabinet minister who had sent indecent messages to the woman IAS officer more than one-and-a-half months back.

“This, the media reports said, was despite the fact that the IAS officer had brought the matter to the notice of her superior officers and even the Chief Minister,” Badal alleged.

“The Chief Minister must tell the people why he is trying to cover it up,” Badal said.

He said it was shocking that even Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who has been apprised about the incident, has kept silent on the issue.

“The Congress and Rahul Gandhi demanded M.J. Akbar’s resignation from the Union cabinet following allegations of sexual harassment when he was the Editor,” Badal said. “But the Congress chief has been actively sheltering someone for similar transgressions.”

The AAP’s woman wing also demanded dismissal of the cabinet minister for harassing a senior woman officer. AAP woman wing president Raj Lali Gill and co-president Jiwanjot Kaur in a statement on Wednesday asked the Chief Minister to take immediate action against the cabinet minister who is continuously harassing the woman officer.

While demanding to sack the minister, the AAP women leaders said that an immoral act by a minister cant be tolerated. The AAP leaders said the Congress was adopting double-standards on the issue of moral values.

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