Punjab’s new Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, in a clear contrast to his predecessor Capt Amarinder Singh who was ‘Maharaja of Patiala’, on Thursday set the wheels in motion to end the VIP culture in government functioning to facilitate the common masses. “I am a common man and brother of every Punjabi,” he declared.
Announcing to curtail his security cover, Channi said: “I am one of you and I don’t need an army of 1000 security personnel to protect me from my own brethren.”
The Chief Minister, during his address at IK Gujral Punjab Technical University, said that he was surprised to learn that after assuming charge of my office suddenly, I have 1000 security personnel to guard me.
Terming that it is “sheer wastage of government resources”, he said: “This cannot be allowed as what harm my own Punjabis will do to me as I too am a common man like them...I have asked the Police to reduce my security overruling the rationale given by intelligence agencies regarding threat to my life.”
The Chief Minister also quipped that he was surprised to learn that being the head of the State, he is also entitled for car as big as room for the comfortable travel. “However, what peeved me is that Rs two crore was spent from tax payer’s money to purchase this car...This luxury is unwarranted and undesirable as these funds could have been well utilised for the welfare of the public, especially those from weaker and underprivileged sections,” he said.
The Chief Minister unequivocally said that he is votary of simple living and high thinking, so this VIP culture has to go at all cost.
“I am not fond of luxurious lifestyle, rather I am there to serve the Punjabis,” he said adding that he has also asked the officers to ensure reduction in vehicles constituting his cavalcade.
Channi also said that he was not a VIP rather a normal Punjabi and anyone can call him anytime on his phone as he is available for serving the people 24X7.