Punjab’s Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi (pictured above) courted controversy on Tuesday after he was caught on camera flipping a coin to decide between two candidates for the post of a lecturer.

The incident reportedly occurred on Monday, when Channi had invited 37 lecturers to give them their posting orders. The lecturers were recruited through the Punjab Public Service Commission examination.

A lecturer from Nabha and another from Patiala had both wanted to be posted at a government polytechnic institute in Patiala, PTI reported. Channi then tossed a coin to make the decision, inviting criticism. A video of this went viral on social media and was aired by news channels.

The minister has claimed that he did “nothing wrong”, and that the the lecturers were appointed on merit and in a transparent manner. “Both of them wanted to be posted at the same place and their merit was also equal,” Channi told reporters on Tuesday. “They proposed tossing a coin to decide the matter. Nothing wrong has happened and no illegality has taken place.”

The spokesperson of the technical education department said one of the two candidates had good scores and the other person had more teaching experience. The media was creating “unnecessary controversy”, the spokesperson said.

Opposition criticises minister

The Opposition rebuked Channa and the ruling Congress government soon after the incident was reported. “He has brought embarrassment to the government and he should be dropped from the ministry before he indulges in more such acts,” Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vineet Joshi said, according to PTI.

Former Shiromani Akali Dal minister Daljit Singh Cheema said the incident showed how serious the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government was regarding governance in Punjab. “It seems the ministers are just passing time and enjoying their ministerial berths,” Cheema said.