Notwithstanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claims of his party providing corruption-free governance in the country, a minister’s wife in the BJP-ruled Himachal Pradesh was found to be using her husband’s official vehicle for a private trip to Chandigarh, some 115 kms from state capital Shimla.
Rajni Thakur, the wife of state Forest, Transport, Youth Services and Sports Minister Govind Singh Thakur, lost her handbag containing Rs 2.5 lakh in cash and jewellery in a busy market in Chandigarh on October 7.
Using her husband’s official chauffeur-driven vehicle (HP 66 0001), Rajni had travelled to Chandigarh from Shimla (almost 115 kms) to get her make-up done at ‘Headmasters’, a premier salon located in Sector 8, Madhya Marg.
As the vehicle remained parked in the market for almost five hours with driver Govind Pal Singh sitting inside, a swindler reportedly took away the bag containing the cash and valuables, eluding the driver.
The minister’s wife noticed the bag missing after she reached Himachal Bhawan in Sector 28, where she had put up for a day, at about 8 pm. She raised an alarm and the Chandigarh police was informed about the theft.
Sources said that senior police officials of Himachal Pradesh also swung into action after they got the news. A First Information Report (FIR) was registered on Rajni’s complaint at Chandigarh Sector 3 police station.
According to the FIR, Rajni was carrying Rs 2.5 lakh cash, a metal necklace, her Aadhaar card, ATM card, PAN card, some ornaments and other articles in her bag. She claimed to have come to Chandigarh for her skin treatment.
When contacted, the minister Govind Thakur admitted that his wife was using government vehicle when the incident occurred. On questioning if he accompanied her to Chandigarh in the government vehicle, Thakur said, “Since I had to attend some important function, so I had left Chandigarh in advance leaving my second vehicle with my wife.”