Punjab: Political history

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Murders of members of religious organisations

2015-17

Payal Dhawan, Top R-S-S official shot; 7th murder in 2 years, Oct 18 2017: The Times of India


The killings began with the murder of Mata Chand Kaur, patriarch of Namdhari Sikhs, on April 4, 2016, and have mostly taken place in Ludhiana and surrounding region.

Of the seven killings, four victims have been members of Hindu right wing organisations. Gosain is the second R-S-S official to be murdered after vice-president of the Punjab unit, brigadier (retd) Jagdish Gagneja was shot in Jalandhar on August 6, 2016.

Despite a clear pattern emerging in the murders, cops have failed to solve any .Senior officers said that they are certain only one group is behind the murders which is trying to foment communal tension in the state with these attacks, but has been unable to get specific leads.

Gosain was the head (mukhya shikshak) of the Mohan Shakha in Amantran colony of Jodhewal area, barely five minutes from his home.

He had returned from the shakha around 7 am and stepped out of his home with his two grandchildren when two men on a motorcycle, who had their faces covered, approached him. They asked Gosain to look at him and then shot him in the head.The moment the R-S-S leader fell to the ground, one of the assailants shot him in the back, killing him on the spot.

Gosain's daughter-in-law Preeti said, “My father-in-law was waiting for my son to put on his school uniform so that he could take him along to get candies. Suddenly , we heard gunshots and rushed out. Papa was dead and both children were screaming.“ Commissioner of police, R N Dhoke, said, “CCTVs installed near the spot have captured two masked assailants on a black and yellow bike. Our men have recovered two bullets shells from the spot, one of a .30 bore revolver and another of a .32 bore revolver indicating two weapons were used.“

2019

 CM strips Sidhu of local govt ministry, allots power

Vibhor Mohan, Captain strips Sidhu of local govt ministry, allots power, June 7, 2019: The Times of India


Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh stripped minister Navjot Singh Sidhu of the coveted local government portfolio as well as tourism and cultural affairs ministry on Thursday, less than a month after the cricketerturned-politician had publicly criticised his boss during the Lok Sabha poll campaign. Sidhu has now been allocated power and new & renewable energy resources portfolios.

The reshuffle is set to escalate the war of words between the two. Hours before the changed portfolios were announced, Sidhu skipped the cabinet meeting.


Performer like me cannot be taken for granted: Sidhu

I cannot be taken for granted. I say that with humility. I’ve been a performer throughout — be it cricket, commentary, television or as a motivational speaker,” Sidhu said.

Countering Amarinder’s criticism that it was Sidhu’s “failure to do development work” that had cost Congress the urban vote bank in places like Bathinda and Sangrur, the former cricketer released details to point out that cities and towns, in fact, had played a pivotal role in the party’s victory in Punjab. He said that while in urban areas, Congress’s strike rate was 63%, in the rural areas it was 55%.

Amarinder has given the local government portfolio to Brahm Mohindra. Sidhu’s portfolio of tourism and cultural affairs has gone to Charanjit Singh Channi. After the election results, Amarinder had indicated that he intended to change Sidhu’s department. Amarinder said the rejig would help streamline the government systems and bring more transparency and efficacy into various departments. The CM said he hoped that the changes would re-energise his team and bring freshness to the working of the major departments.

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