Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is under fire from the Opposition over accusations of not heeding to his own pre-poll advice against ‘VIP culture’. A Right To Information response has reportedly revealed Mr Mann has more vehicles in his cavalcade than the last three of his predecessors. NDTV has reached out to Malwinder Singh Kang, Aam Aadmi Party chief spokesperson in the state, for a reaction.
Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa, citing an RTI reply, claimed that Mr Mann has 42 cars in his cavalcade – more than what were deployed with former Punjab Chief Ministers Parkash Singh Badal, Amarinder Singh, and Charanjit Singh Channi.
“Shocking revelation – CM Badal had 33 vehicles when he was CM from 2007-17 in his cavalcade & there was no change in number of vehicles when Captain Amarinder S became the CM but it has been revealed through RTI that CM Mann ‘The so called Aam Aadmi’ has 42 cars in his cavalcade,” Mr Bajwa, who is the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, tweeted.
CM Badal had 33 vehicles when he was CM from 2007-17 in his cavalcade & there was no change in number of vehicles when Captain Amarinder S became the CM but it has been revealed through RTI that CM Mann “The so called Aam Aadmi” has 42 cars in his cavalcade. pic.twitter.com/lEFt6Ve3xm
— Partap Singh Bajwa (@Partap_Sbajwa) September 28, 2022
Quoting the RTI reply furnished by the state transport commissioner, Mr Bajwa added that from September 20, 2021, to March 16, 2022, Charanjit Singh Channi as Chief Minister had 39 cars in his convoy, getting six more vehicles.
“There has been a self-contradiction between what Bhagwant Mann used to preach, before becoming the CM, and what he practices, after becoming the CM,” he said, adding that, “Bhagwant Mann used to blast the ruling party over such issues when he was an MP from Sangrur”.
Partap Singh Bajwa took a dig at Bhagwant Mann asking if he would tell the citizens of Punjab what purpose this big convoy of vehicles serves.
“Why does he spend taxpayers’ money so recklessly? How can he afford to have such a huge cavalcade now?” he asked.
The AAP has remained tight-lipped about it so far. Malwinder Singh Kang, AAP chief spokesperson in the state, reportedly directed requests for a response to Navneet Wadhwa, the media-in-charge of the Chief Minister’s Office, who then passed the buck to the Information and Public relations officials.