Halqa Chiefs To Be Sent Packing Just Like The Akalis
GURDASPUR – The halqa incharge system, put in place by the ruling SAD-BJP combine, is all set to be rendered defunct with the victory of the Congress in the state.
SAD leaders who had lost the 2012 elections were designated as halqa incharges (area chiefs) from the very seats they had lost. In Gurdaspur district itself, there were five such politicians who despite losing their seats with wide margins still allegedly “ruled” over the very set of people who had rejected them. These halqa incharges allegedly used to dictate terms over officers of both the civil and police administration.
In the previous dispensation, out of a total of seven seats of this district, five were Congress MLAs. However, all of them were rendered “powerless” by the system as officials were “told not to listen to them”. Senior officers now admit that they were “told by their superiors not to even take phone calls of these MLAs”.
“Police stations across the state used to be controlled by these unconstitutional halqa incharges. Senior officers, including Deputy Commissioners and SSPs, were transferred at their behest. Transfers and postings of middle-rung officials too were allegedly done at their behest. I complained to three Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioners against illegal activities being resorted to by Dera Baba Nanak halqa incharge SS Langah yet nobody paid any heed,” said Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who has been elected from the Dera Baba Nanak seat for the third time.
“What could we have done? We were under instructions from the Dy CM’s office to listen to their diktats. At times, we were forced to listen to these politicians at the cost of our self-respect,” said a top-ranking official on the condition of anonymity.
Randhawa said Capt Amarinder Singh had already been apprised of the issue and added that the Congress would not appoint any such halqa incharges from where the party candidates have lost the elections this time.