Badal govt hopes to romp home through ‘home’

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Old 01-Oct-2011
Badal govt hopes to romp home through ‘home’

Chandigarh October 1:

More than a decade-and-a-half after the long spell of President’ Rule in Punjab during the days of militancy, the post of Advisor, Home, has been once again revived. Beginning Saturday, Director General of Police P S Gill — who retired on Friday — will assume charge as advisor in the home department, which already has a minister (Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal), a home secretary and a new DGP.

According to sources in the government, the terms and conditions of this unusual appointment will soon be brought before the state cabinet for approval. The new post will entitle Gill to a salary, a car, an official residence and an office. Senior officials in the home department describe it as a political arrangement that suits both Gill and the government. “He will still be able to call the shots within the police department and advice the government on placement of SPs and DSPs ahead of polls in the state,” a home department official said.

He added: “Since the post of advisor is not constitutional, Gill will also be out of scrutiny of the Election Commission, which had asked the government to keep a close watch on his activities following reports of his public appearances in his hometown of Moga — a constituency from where he is the most likely candidate of the ruling Akali Dal for the 2012 polls. So, Gill can still function as the DGP and also nurture his constituency.” Both government and bureaucracratic circles was abuzz with the motive behind the government’s move with some predicting it as an end to Gill’s political ambitions. However, a senior Akali Dal leader confirmed Gill’s candidature from Moga.

Notably, Gill’s new appointment comes within a week of Sukhbir announcing a major bonanza for the policemen soon after the code of conduct for the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) elections came to an end on September 22. On September 24, Sukhbir announced the promotion of 1,600 constables as senior constables, reducing the qualifying service from 9 to 8 years. As many ad 3,599 head constables with 10 years of service were promoted as assistant sub-inspectors.

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