Opposition parties have demanded Punjab minister Rana Gurjit Singh’s sacking for allegedly acquiring sand and gravel mines through benaami transactions in the names of his company’s cook and staff. The minister denied the charges and said neither he nor his company has any direct or indirect stakes in mining. He called reports in a section of media, claiming that two of his employees had successfully bid for sand mines, as “incorrect”. The minister said the employees in question had left their jobs a long time ago.
“The fact that some former employees reportedly bid for the mines does not in any way imply that I have interests or stakes in the business,’’ the PTI quoted him as saying. Opposition leader and AAP functionary H S Phoolka said that no minister can be a partner in business with his government. He said that such a violation can lead to suspension from the ministry.
“If he (Chief Minister Amarinder Singh) does not take any action against Rana, it indicates that he himself is indulging in wrong practices…’’ He alleged that Congress leaders have starting looting the state’s resources after coming to power.
BJP leader Tarun Chugh said that e-auction of mines has exposed the “greed and manipulation” of the minister. He said that it was astonishing to note that the minister’s cook and other employees managed to bag mines worth crores. Chug asked the minister how much salary he was paying these employees that they managed to strike deals worth Rs 50 crore.