Row Over Inappropriate Text Allegedly Sent By Punjab Minister To Official

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SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal asked the Chief Minister to unmask the minister (Representational)

Chandigarh:

Opposition parties on Wednesday sought action against a Punjab minister who reportedly sent an "inappropriate text" to a government official.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanded that the minister, whose identity has not been revealed, be sacked.

According to a media report, the minister had sent the messages to the official earlier and stopped for a while after she warned him. She lodged a complaint against him after he messaged her again over a month ago.

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After the matter reached Amarinder Singh, the minister was made to apologise to the official, it said.

SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal asked the Chief Minister to "unmask" his cabinet colleague.

He said it is shocking that Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who has reportedly been apprised of the complaint, is silent on the matter.

"Rahul Gandhi should explain whether he is complicit in this cover up exercise by the Punjab Chief Minister? There is no way a minister accused of such abhorrent behaviour can sit in the cabinet, where decisions regarding safety of women have to be taken," Mr Badal said in a statement.

"If he (minister) is not removed immediately, it will be perceived as the Congress leadership's lack of seriousness about protecting the honour of women," he said.

The SAD leader said the woman official should be encouraged to lodge a formal complaint.

The AAP also sought action against the minister.

"A proper probe should be initiated into this incident and the minister should resign from the cabinet," said AAP MLA Kanwar Sandhu, who is a member of the party's rebel faction led by Sukhpal Singh Khaira.

In a statement, president of the AAP's women's wing, Raj Lali Gill, also asked Amarinder Singh to take action against the minister.

Congress leaders and Punjab government officials could not be reached for comment.

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