Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has come under fire from the Opposition for allegedly encouraging “VIP culture” in the state as opposed to the Aam Aadmi Party’s promised crackdown against it.
The allegations came after an apparent RTI response shared by Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa revealed that the Chief Minister’s convoy has 42 cars, up from the 33 cars that Parkash Singh Badal, Amarinder Singh and Charanjit Channi had maintained in their cavalcade.
“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,” Bajwa, the Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly said, sharing the document on Twitter on Wednesday.
The document shared by Bajwa shows a steady rise in the number of cars in the CM’s convoy since the AAP government came to power in the state. The document shows that while the number of cars in the CM’s convoy remained steady at 33 since 2007, it rose to 39 on March 19, just a week after the Punjab election results were declared, and then rose again from June 1, 2022 to 42 cards.
“In the past Mr Mann used to question what “kings & maharajas” do with convoy of so many vehicles? Will CM Mann himself clarify now what he is doing with the convoy of 42 vehicles? Is this the Badlav AAP promised?” tweeted Bajwa.
The ruling AAP government has so far not reacted to the findings.
Soon after coming to power, the Mann government had promised to wage a war against the VIP culture in the state. CM Mann’s decision to withdraw security cover of 424 individuals had sparked a huge row in the state. The decision was eventually withdrawn after the murder of Punjabi singer and Congress leader Sidhu Moosewala earlier this year.