On September 6, a video was shared on Twitter depicting the VVIP culture and its impacts on commoners. Shared by Journalist Man Aman Singh Chhina, the undated video shows a man identified as Sumeet Gill shooting the traffic jam caused by the convoy of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.
Chinna wrote, “VIP woes of Punjab. Traffic stopped on Baddi-New Chandigarh highway to let Capt Amarinder’s convoy get to his farmhouse nearby where he stays. The harassed person who filmed this traffic blockade this evening @TheSumeetGill
says he had to wait for 35 minutes on the road!”
VIP woes of Punjab.— Man Aman Singh Chhina (@manaman_chhina) September 6, 2021
Traffic stopped on Baddi-New Chandigarh highway to let Capt Amarinder’s convoy get to his farmhouse nearby where he stays.
The harassed person who filmed this traffic blockade this evening @TheSumeetGill says he had to wait for 35 minutes on the road! pic.twitter.com/XVyj3tEZES
The story behind the video
What appears to be the case, there is a farmhouse on Baddi-New Chandigarh Highway where Captain Amarinder Singh stays. As there is a turn on the Highway that leads to his farmhouse on the left side and the convoy was supposed to be coming from the right side of the road, the Police blocked the left side to give a “clear way” to the convoy.
The traffic was stopped for over 35 minutes that irked Sumeet, who started filming the incident. He was heard saying, “This is Siswa-Baddi Highway, and this is the traffic jam caused by Capt Amarinder Singh (he shows the long line of vehicles waiting for the roadblock to get cleared). Because this is right there, you can see a turn where CM is coming. This is what it is.” He was then asked by a police officer to move away from the road, to which he said in Punjab, “Yes, I am getting away from the road. I am on the side of the road. So police officer has asked me to stay on the side. I am on the side. You can see the road.”
He continued, “This is the situation. Our CM will come to ask for votes like a beggar. But today, look how many people are suffering because of him. What bloody hell do they want? If his Pakistani guests come, a similar thing happens. See, he is coming. Look at that (points out at the convoy taking the turn to the farmhouse). Only because of him we are standing here for an hour. Now I will make this video viral.”
Quoting Chhina’s post, Sumeet said, “Plus threatened by Police Inspector Simranjeet Singh.”
Plus threatened by Police Inspector Simranjeet Singh https://t.co/mwcVfsjbig— Sumeet Gill (@TheSumeetGill) September 6, 2021
The ‘Pakistani guest’ of Capt Amarinder Singh
Not many people know that a Pakistani friend of Capt Amarinder is a regular at his Chandigarh house. Aroosa Alam shares a close relationship with him and had also attended his swearing-in ceremony in 2017. She was also present at the launch of Captain Amarinder Singh’s biography ‘The People’s Maharaja’ in February 2020.
The duo has manifestly been low-key about their lesser-known ‘affair’ and has often shied away from talking about it in public. Notably, Alam is a former Pakistani defence journalist and was known in Pakistani circles for having close ties with the military establishment. Alam is the daughter of Akleen Akhtar, also known as the famous General Rani, a socialite who was described by the Pakistani media as the “muse and mistress” of Pakistani leader Yahya Khan.
“My relationship is a sensitive issue even back home, I am a Muslim woman, and you know how people back home think,” said Aroosa in February 2018 when she was in Chandigarh.
Reaction from the netizens
Several netizens commented under the video that they have faced a similar situation due to CM’s convoy. Another Twitter user wrote “I waited for 45 minutes at Lake road for the same issue a few months back. Tabh bhi Capt sahab ne aana tha. (Even then Capt was coming).”
I waited for 45 minutes at Lake road for the same issue few months back. Tabh bhi Capt sahab ne aana tha.— Ujala Arora 🌸 (@WhereIsMy_Food) September 6, 2021
Suni Issar said, “I used to work in Chennai when this used to be done for Jayalalitha. Waiting for these so-called VIP’s is very frustrating and throws all schedules out of gear.” Freesoulsimi also shared her experience from Chennai. She said, “I remember one such incident from Chennai… left office at 6 pm only to reach home by 11.30 pm!!! I literally hate this VIP – inconvenience to the general public – culture.”
I remember one such incident from Chennai… left office at 6 pm only to reach home by 11.30 pm!!! I literally hate this VIP – inconvenience to general public – culture.— FreeSoulSimi (@soul_simi) September 6, 2021
Puneet Naagar said, “He came from the airport today, this drama happened at the IISER light point as well, where a traffic police ASI held the traffic in the rain for CMs welcome.”
He came from the airport today, this drama happened at the IISER light point as well, where a traffic police ASI held the traffic in rain for CMs welcome.— Puneet Naagar (@IamPuneetNaagar) September 6, 2021
Mayur Said, “This happened a few weeks ago when Capt Amarinder visited Gurjeet Aujla and the entry to Guru Amardass Avenue in Amritsar was blocked with an army of police force.”
Sumeet, in a comment, said that he was detained by the Police for 15-20 minutes. In another reply, he said that it had become a regular scene in the region.
This is not the first time Punjab CM is being accused of indulging in VIP culture. In June 2021, five Cabinet ministers have expressed stern disapproval of Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s decision of tweaking the rules to provide government jobs to sons of party MLAs during a cabinet meeting. Reports suggest that the ministers questioned the appointment of the sons of party MLAs and the unusual relaxation allowed to accommodate them. The case pertains to the appointment of sons of legislators Fateh Jung Bajwa and Rakesh Pandey as Inspector and Naib Tehsildar, respectively, on compassionate grounds by altering rules.