Notice to Punjab govt in ‘MeToo’ allegations against minister

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Ropar: Leader of Opposition and Punjab Congress MLA Charanjit Singh Channi participates during a cycle rally "Jawani Sambhaal Yatra" from Chamkaur Sahib to Talwandi Sabo at Chamkaur Sahib in Ropar on Sept 27, 2016. (Photo: IANS)

Trouble seems brewing for Punjab Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, who has been facing charges of sending “indecent” messages to an IAS officer on her mobile phone more than two years ago, with the state women panel issuing notice to the government on the issue.

The incident was of October 2018 when the #MeToo campaign came to light across the country. However, the issuance of the notice by the panel now has brought to the fore “differences” between the Chief Minister and the minister.

The woman officer, in a verbal complaint to her seniors, had alleged that the minister sent her indecent messages to which she objected but he did not stop. Then when one of the messages was sent late at night, she decided to complain.

Reacting swiftly after this development, the Punjab State Women Commission had said any sexual overtures during and after office hours would not be tolerated.

On Monday, it issued a notice to the Chief Secretary seeking a status report within a week in the allegations.

The commission issued the notice after taking cognisance of a media report.

Political observers say these days Channi is not having cordial relations with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Like former minister Navjot Sidhu, Channi is demanding action against perpetrators in sacrilege and police firing cases in 2015 when the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP government was at the helm.

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