The tussle between the Aam Aadmi Party and the bureaucracy doesn’t seem to be ending and has now spread itself to Punjab. This time it involves AAP MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan from Kotkapura, Punjab and Faridkot’s additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Keshav Hingonia, with the former alleging that the latter disrespected him.
As per reports, the issue began at about 11:30 PM on Wednesday when the MLA reached Hingonia’s office to submit a memorandum which sought an inquiry into MNREGA payments made in the district. As per the MLA, the officer didn’t stand up while receiving the memorandum and “insulted” him by asking him to leave the premises. Reports claimed that the MLA wanted the officer to stand up so that a photograph came out better. One report has claimed that the MLA had other objections like the officer not replying to his greeting and not offering him a place to sit.
A video of the spat was tweeted by Gagandeep Singh:
Breaking: AAP MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan and Faridkot ADC Keshav Hingonia had a verbal spat after ADC refused to stand when MLA and his workers went to give a memorandum for enquiry in MNREGA. @HTPunjab@vinayak_ramesh@firstname.lastname@example.org/buvLHE0Iaq
— Gagandeep Singh (@GaganJassowal) March 7, 2018
In the video the MLA is seen raising his voice to assert that Hingonia is “his officer” to which the officer retorted that he (MLA) is not the government and just a MLA. This further angered the MLA who then tried to assert that he indeed was the government, which snowballed into the AAP MLA belligerently asking the officer to listen to him. When the MLA was asked not to raise his voice, he promptly responded that it was his voice and he could raise it.
While the MLA was talking about his voice, the officer asking him to leave the office, who himself goes into a different room. The video ends with the MLA’s supporters chanting “ADC Murdabad” and leaving the office. The video has gone viral on social media.
The MLA though has refused to step back and vowed to raise the matter with the assembly’s privilege committee. He has also claimed that he will write a letter to the Lal Bahadur Shastri academy, asking them to provide better training to the IAS officers about dealing with public representatives.
This incident comes merely days after violent tendencies of AAP’s Delhi MLAs were allegedly exposed, when the Chief Secretary was assaulted at CM Kejriwal’s residence. But rather than tying to diffuse the crisis, AAP supremo Kejriwal has been seen indulging in whataboutry and another MLA has been recorded openly calling for an assault on IAS officers.