#MeToo: Punjab cabinet minister Channi accused of sending lewd messages to a female IAS officer

Despite giving warnings, the minister continued sending vulgar messages to the IAS officer, following which she escalated the complaint to senior authorities including the chief minister

Punjab technical education minister Charanjit Singh Channi landed himself in hot water for allegedly sending lewd messages to a woman IAS officer. According to the reports, the complainant had informed Punjab CM Amarinder Singh before he proceeded on his Israel tour. Channi is said to be close to Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

As per reports, despite giving warnings, the minister continued sending vulgar messages to her, following which the IAS officer escalated the complaint to senior authorities including the chief minister. Validating the occurrence of the incident, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder, who is currently in Israel on an official tour, said the matter related to vulgar messages to a lady IAS officer has been taken very seriously and it will be resolved to the officer’s satisfaction.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, too, is reportedly privy to the details of this situation and the party is still deliberating on whether to dispense with the minister’s services or not. Meanwhile, CM Amarinder Singh has enjoined the mister to seek an apology from the concerned officer. Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal expressed shock over the incident. He said that it was shocking that even the Congress chief was silent on this issue for more than a month. “Rahul Gandhi should explain whether he is complicit in this cover-up. There is no way a minister accused of such behaviour can continue in the Cabinet,” he said.

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Even in the past, the Congress party has been accused of dragging their feet on action against sexual molesters. Congress IT cell head, Divya Spandana was named in a charge sheet that was filed by a former party worker accused the right-hand man of Spandana of molestation at the workplace. Divya was accused by the complainant of not taking action against the molester. A woman colleague of NSUI had accused former NSUI president Fairoz Khan of sexual harassment in June in a written complaint to the Congress Party. The Congress party didn’t act on the complaint until mid-October and as the #MeToo campaign gained momentum, they were forced to act against him, resulting in his resignation from the NSUI president post.

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