KHANNA: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today demanded the immediate resignation of higher education minister Pargat Singh in the multi-crore Assistant Professor recruitment scam stating not only were all rules and procedures set aside to recruit favourites after leakage of examination papers but even crores of rupees exchanged hands.
Addressing the media at both places here, the SAD President also asked chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi to explain why the entire examination for recruitment of 1158 Assistant Professors had been fixed to recruit only research scholars and teachers of government colleges by awarding them an extra five marks and why the responsibility of setting the examination papers was given to guides of the research teachers. “The chief minister must also explain why University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines were not followed in the recruitment process and why the responsibility for the recruitment to the class one job had not been entrusted to the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC)”.
Mr Sukhbir Badal also condemned higher education minister Pargat Singh of trying to hush-up the scam by failing to take into account the objections of candidates which came to light immediately after the papers of various subjects were conducted by the Punjabi University and the Guru Nanak Dev University on November 2–22. “It is equally condemnable that Mr Pargat Singh, who swears by probity, did not even react after the Punjab and Haryana high court stayed the recruitment process. It is shocking that despite clear cut evidence of leakage of various papers including the Punjabi and Mathematics paper, the Higher Education minister has not scrapped the entire process and re-ordered a fresh examination as per UGC guidelines”.
Noting that the high court had taken notice of the irregularities, the SAD President demanded a high level probe into the entire exercise as well as linkage between the research scholars and government college teachers who had cleared the examination with their guides and senior teachers who had set the examination papers.
Mr Badal said aggrieved students had met him also and told him they had lost faith in the system because the Channi government decided to award an extra five marks to government teachers sitting for the examination. He said the candidates disclosed that similar teachers studying in private and aided colleges were not given extra weightage which was a discriminatory step. He said there were also instances of students who had topped the examination in the general category but still did not get selected for appointment because of the extra weightage given to government teachers.
Meanwhile addressing public meetings in favour of party candidate Jasdeep Kaur Yaadu in Khanna and Gurpeet Singh Rajukhanna in Amloh, the SAD president said the chief minister was himself running the sand mafia in the Chamkaur Sahib constituency. He said illegal ‘nakas’ had been established in the constituency in the name of the chief ministers and truckers were forced to cough up ‘goonda’ tax.
Speaking at Khanna, the SAD President said the next SAD-BSP alliance government would make Khanna a district once it came to power in the State. He also assured that a probe would be launched into the illegal distillery which had been unearthed in the town and all those who ran it as well as those providing patronage to it, including cabinet minister Gurkirat Singh Kotli, would be taken to task.
Earlier the SAD President led a massive road show in markets of Khanna while campaigning for party candidate Jasdeep Kaur Yaadu. He also visited markets to inspect the road condition. Responding to the demand of city residents, he assured to get all such sub-standard work probed.
Later canvassing for Amloh candidate Gurpeeet Singh Raju Khanna, he addressed a massive gathering and also welcomed various leaders from different parties into the SAD fold.