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HC quashes appointment of 18 CPS in Punjab: Here's how the verdict will impact ruling SAD-BJP alliance
Once again the political scenario in Punjab looks to be on the changing paths when Punjab Government led by Parkash Singh Badal has been issued a notice by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a plea against the appointment of six chief parliamentary secretaries (CPS) by the State government.

There are different versions about the impact of the recent HC order nullifying the appointment of 18 Chief Parliamentary Secretaries (CPSs) - one among them is, it will tarnish the image of the party when the Assembly elections are due in early 2017. 

These CPSs have almost enjoyed the full term except the recent appointments of new six MLAs - Gurtej Singh Ghuriana, Manjit Singh Mianwind, Darshan Singh Shiwalik and Gurpratap Singh Wadala of Shiromani Akal Dal (SAD) and Sukhjeet Kaur Sahi and Seema Rani of BJP as CPSs on April 28.

The opposition Congress party has also sharply criticised the induction of the new CPS, saying that the "bankrupt government reeling under debt was only trying to appease its antagonized MLAs ahead of 2017 polls". It had even accused SAD of distributing "free salaries" despite even an ongoing controversy of Rs 12,000 crore missing row.

I don't hesitate to say that these CPS are being called as Chhota MLAs to keep close liaison with the district administration for day today work of the people of the area where the MLA of opposition party is in position. Not only this, a new post of Halqa Incharge was introduced weakening the Constitutional provisions, to accommodate those loyalists who lost in the election at the cost of tax payers' money and to swagger in the eyes of public and administration as well.

In all, the appointment is of 24 CPSs and one died in between, one was induced in Council of Ministers and one was unceremoniously removed for his differences with the SAD. The affected are 18 MLAs and the fate of six MLAs obliged just few months before the next elections is also likely to be affected as is evident from the fact that all CPSs who were given the task of hoisting the national flag on 70th Independence Day celebrations were withdrawn, from legal point of view when the case of fate of CPSs is sub-judice.

The appointment of these CPSs were challenged immediately in 2012 after they had been been sworn in, highlighting the alleged illegality that successive governments of the State have shrewdly committed in violation of the Constitution.

Quoting the precedent of Captain Amarinder Singh at this stage is of no use, who too had made the appointment of CPSs during his tenure of 2002-07 but by making amendments in the laws, which Badal government failed to follow before the appointments.

Whatever may be the outcome of the court verdict, one thing is crystal clear that the orders of the court have downgraded the status of MLAs and they won't be feeling comfortable while seeking votes for the coming elections.

Such appointments have been made in other states like Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan also, but these Chief Parliamentary Secretaries have been termed as unconstitutional by the courts, as they hold the rank of a Minister.

Frankly speaking, the judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on last Friday quashing the appointment of 18 CPSs since 2012, is not less than an atom bomb for which the ruling alliance might have to pay heavy price especially when the State is going to hold the next assembly elections in a couple of months in the early 2017.

Mistakes, failures and rejection are the part of progress and growth but at the same time, nobody ever achieved anything worth without facing these hurdles and such concept is only a consolation and an afterthought. The courts have put wiser Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, despite his being known as 'Baba Bohar' - always above board in every odd situation - of politics in Punjab.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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