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The Thok in the Thoko Sounds Mellower; Declares Crackdown on Illegal Constructions

Hugely popular politician, cricket commentator, television personality and former dashing India batsman Navjot Singh Sidhu of “Thoko, thoko !!” fame has distinctly lost a fraction of the flair in his witty remarks, verses and couplets ever since he has become a cabinet minister in the Capt Amarinder Singh led Congress government in the frontier state of Punjab.

The Minister holding portfolios of Local Government, Tourism and Culture and Archives and Museums also appears to have mellowed down from his fiercely independent demeanour when he was a member of Parliament from Amritsar for his previous party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, to become a more conventional  and conformist minister. In all his public and media interactions he is taking pains to ensure that he gives full credit for all the “good” initiatives being taken by the new government, even in his own ministries, to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

The Thok in the Thoko Sounds Mellower; Declares Crackdown on Illegal Constructions, Lifeinchd

Photo By: Life In Chandigarh
On Thursday, while announcing a crackdown on rampant building violations and illegal constructions, especially in bigger towns like Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala and Bathinda, he said he was taking a cabinet note to the Chief Minister recommending a one-time settlement on “as is where is” basis for not so blatant violations and will let the cabinet take a collective decision, so that it becomes a government decision and not his individual one.
Disclosing that besides the complaints received at the local municipal bodies, the vigilance cell at the state headquarters level had received 300-odd complaints, primarily of commercial buildings. The highest number of 83 complaints are from Ludhiana, he added.
The government will offer a one-time settlement in cases “which are not big and blatant in nature.” In future, however, such violations will not be permitted under any circumstances and individual officials in whose areas such violations are detected will be held accountable and they will face strict action – suspension, and even dismissal from service – he warned.
Replying to a query, he said the law was equal for all. “Politicians, I myself and the Chief Minister included, will all be treated equally. Law will take its own course irrespective of what position one holds.”
On the issue of reining in the corrupt municipal officials, Sidhu said a comprehensive e-governance network is going to be rolled out in the state within the next three months and the interface between officials and the general public will be reduced to the minimum, cutting down on opportunities for corrupt practices.

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