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Bhagwant Mann’s message to AAP MLAs — no anger, no issuing orders before govt takes charge

Two specific instances triggered the message from the CM-designate’s office Tuesday. Mann is set to take oath as the chief minister Wednesday.

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Chandigarh: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators in Punjab Tuesday received a stern message from CM-designate Bhagwant Mann’s office asking them to avoid hot-headed behaviour in public and to refrain from issuing directions to public servants before the government officially takes charge, ThePrint has learnt.

Mann is set to take oath as the chief minister Wednesday. The AAP won the Punjab polls on 10 March with a majority of 92 out of 117 seats.

A close aide of Mann, who did not wish to be identified, said that the message from the CM-designate office Tuesday was triggered by two specific instances.

In the first instance, an MLA who went for a surprise inspection at a hospital in his constituency and apparently got angry after he found a medical officer in an inebriated state. The incident was caught on camera and a video of it started doing the rounds on social media.

In the video, the MLA, Kulwant Singh Bazigar of Shutrana assembly constituency, could be seen reprimanding a hospital staff saying: “Change your behaviour or you will be transferred to Pathankot near the Pakistan border.”

The other instance was that of an MLA who ‘passed’ a series of orders on 14 March and posted about it on social media, even as several senior leaders in the party said some of those orders were outside the domain of an MLAs office.

Harjot Singh Bains, the AAP legislator from Anandpur Sahib, posted about orders including directing departments to ensure that no illegal mining takes place in Anandpur Sahib and no MGNREGA worker is forced to work in the house or farm of any politician. He also asked panchayats in his assembly to accept quotations for some development work and waived toll tax for devotees arriving in his district, which has a prominent Gurudwara, till 19 March.

Bains said in a tweet, he is “proud to be a student of (AAP national convener) Arvind Kejriwal school of politics”.

ThePrint reached both Bains and Bazigar via phone calls and text but they did not comment on the matter until the publishing of this report.

Also read: From ‘masterji’s son’ to stand-up star & ‘Pegwant’, how dropout Bhagwant Mann became Punjab CM

‘Be careful’

A senior Punjab-based AAP leader who didn’t wish to be named said: “MLAs have to be very particular about their conduct in public life. Even if they are genuinely angered by something, they should be careful about expressing such anger. Any wrong action can backfire.”

He added: “Also, till the government officially takes charge, MLAs should refrain from issuing orders. Many such orders are outside the domain and administrative jurisdiction of their offices. They have to understand that. The stern message from the top leadership was necessary.”

ThePrint had reported last week how AAP MLAs in Punjab are losing no time in proving to the state their eagerness to deliver on poll promises. Some of them started visits to schools, hospitals and public offices after Mann asked them to work more in their constituencies instead of spending more time in the state capital of Chandigarh.

Also read: Message from Bhagat Singh’s ‘pind’ as Bhagwant Mann arrives for oath: Follow him or end up in bin


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