CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday made a surprise check in the offices of ministers and senior IAS officers at the Civil Secretariat here at 9.05 am and found eight Cabinet Ministers and a senior bureaucrat absent.
An official in the Chief Minister’s office said this move was aimed at ensuring decorum and discipline in government offices.
The eight absent cabinet ministers are Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Irrigation Minister Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon, Local Government Minister Anil Joshi, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon, who is son-in-law of Chief Minister Badal, Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jiyani, Forest Minister Chunni Lal Bhagat, Industries Minister Madan Mohan Mittal and Revenue Minister and Information and Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, brother-in-law of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Principal Secretary (General Administration) Sanjay Kumar was also found absent at work.
The eight ministers included all the three BJP ministers in the government.
Agriculture Minister Tota Singh, Transport Minister Jathedar Ajit Singh Kohar, Tourism and Jails Minister Sohan Singh Thandal and Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Surjit Singh Rakhra were present in their offices.
After the surprise check, Badal requested the ministers to ensure their presence in offices and reiterated that officers should remain available in their offices from 9 am to 5 pm for the convenience of general public in order to instill confidence and a a sense of belongingness in the state administration. Badal also urged the people’s representatives and bureaucrats to discharge their duties with utmost dedication, honesty and professional commitment in the larger public interest.
Last month, 18 of the 22 Deputy Commissioners and 22 of the 24 Senior Superintendents of Police heads of civil administration and police departments in the districts were found absent when officials in the Chief Minister’s Office called up the officers between 9.20 am and 10 am on their landline numbers in all 22 districts.