The Punjab Government has decided to initiate a high-level inquiry to determine the reasons behind the withdrawal of the notification for the recently announced panchayat, panchayat samiti, and zila parishad elections, which resulted in an embarrassing situation for the government.
Punjab Government to Conduct Inquiry
A senior official from the state government confirmed this decision and stated that the inquiry aims to uncover why the concerned officers sent the election proposal file to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar without highlighting the shortcomings in the proposal.
The inquiry will also investigate the last-minute hiring of senior advocate Ashok Aggarwal, a former Advocate General in the SAD-BJP regime, as counsel in the case, without informing the Chief Minister. The government will scrutinize the roles of individuals and departments involved in the entire process.
The withdrawal of the election notification on August 31 followed its issuance on August 10, leading to legal challenges. The Opposition has criticized the government’s decision, deeming it technically flawed and unconstitutional.
Despite the inquiry, taking action against the two suspended IAS officers, Financial Commissioner (Rural Development) DK Tewari and Director of Rural Development and Panchayats Gurpreet Khaira, may prove difficult, as they were executing their assigned tasks.