Captain Amarinder attends new drug SIT head Mustafa’s dinner, Punjab Police set for new power equation
The relation between Mustafa, a 1985-batch IPS officer and an old Amarinder loyalist (his wife Razia Sultana is a Punjab cabinet minister), had hit a thaw of late, especially over the issue of the appointment of new DGP.
In a development that may change the equations within the Punjab Police, chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh attended a dinner hosted by newly appointed anti-drug special task force (STF) head Mohd Mustafa at his Panchkula residence on Tuesday evening.
The relation between Mustafa, a 1985-batch IPS officer and an old Amarinder loyalist (his wife Razia Sultana is a Punjab cabinet minister), and the CM had strained, especially over the issue of the appointment of new Punjab director general of police (DGP).
He continues to hold the charge of DGP (human rights) after he got the new assignment. Mustafa, who remained sidelined under the two successive governments of the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) combine from 2007 to 2017 as his wife contested the assembly elections from the Malerkotla segment on Congress ticket, was a strong contender for the top job when Amarinder-led Congress came to power in the state.
His claim for the post was supported by many in the Congress but Amarinder dashed his hopes by deciding to continue with Suresh Arora, who was appointed by the previous government.
But to the surprise of many, Mustafa remained sidelined even in the Amarinder government as he was given the charge of DGP (human rights), a relatively low-profile post.
As Arora was scheduled to retire on September 30 (he got three-month extension on Tuesday), Mustafa is believed to have played his cards for the DGP’s post.
With speculations rife about 1987-batch IPS officer Dinkar Gupta also becoming strong contender for the job, Mustafa will not leave any stone unturned to ensure he is not left behind in the race.
His claim is believed to have been supported by many senior Congress leaders of the Congress and even the office of party president Rahul Gandhi. A senior government official said the decision to make Mustafa the head of STF on drugs in place of ADGP Harpreet Sidhu was an attempt by Amarinder to placate sulking Mustafa.
Mustafa has been promised to get “due recognition” in near future, said a senior functionary in the CM’s office.
At the dinner Mustafa hosted on Tuesday, the CM was accompanied by sports minister Rana Sodhi among others. Amarinder stayed there for nearly three hours.
Mustafa could not be reached for comments.
First Published: Sep 12, 2018 22:51:14