Sukhbir Badal asks Rahul why he assigned Asha Kumari to cover up misdeeds of Channi
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today condemned Congress President Rahul Gandhi for assigning party General Secretary for Punjab – Asha Kumari to cover up the misdeeds of Technical Education minister Charanjit Singh Channi who admittedly sent indecent messages to a woman IAS officer by claiming no complaint had been received against Channi.
In a statement here, the SAD president said Mrs Kumari’s statement would be remembered in history as the first instance when someone who had already admitted his mistake was being given a clean chit. He said chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had already disclosed that after the complaint by the woman IAS officer was received by him Channi had apologized to the woman. “When the chief minister has acknowledged Channi’s guilt how is Asha Kumari giving him a clean chit? By attempting to do this the Congress general secretary has not only acted as an extra –constitutional authority but has also belittled India’s MeToo movement which seeks to expose and punish people like Channi”, he added.
Mr Badal said it was also shameful that a woman was belittling a fellow woman on the orders of Rahul Gandhi with a mind boggling statement that text messages did not constitute sexual harassment. “An educated woman and politician cannot make such a statement knowing the law but it seems there is intense pressure on Asha Kumari to give a clean chit to Charanjit Channi from the Congress high command”.
Asking Asha Kumari to come clean, the SAD president said she should disclose why she was indulging in such unethical conduct. The SAD president also asked Congress President Rahul Gandhi to disclose what was his compulsion to protect Charanjit Channi who has been at the centre of controversies, including links with the sand mafia. He said Rahul should also tell Punjabis why he was adopting double standards on the issue of safety of women. “Rahul and the Congress party demanded Mr M J Akbar’s resignation from the union cabinet after the latter was accused of sexually harassing women journalists in his role as an Editor, but has been actively sheltering someone for similar transgressions committed by him as a cabinet minister. Is Rahul silent about this criminal act because the minister is his blue eyed boy?” the SAD president asked adding the Congress president had been apprised about the matter one month back and he should clarify why he had maintained a stoic silence on the same.
Asking the Congress party not to cover up Channi’s sordid acts with apologies, the SAD president said the law was very clear on this issue. “The matter should be taken up officially and investigated by a harassment panel following which action should be taken against Channi as per the law. In the meantime he should be sacked from the cabinet immediately to allow other women also to approach the harassment panel to file complaints against Channi if any”.
Mr Badal said if the government did not take immediate action against Channi it would send out a signal to women that they were not safe in Punjab. “If the Congress government cannot give justice to a woman IAS officer then what will be the fate of lakhs of ordinary women in Punjab who have no direct access to the chief ministers or the corridors of power?” he asked. EOM