State BJP’s silence on Maluka issue deafening

The BJP,which never misses a single opportunity to take on the UPA in matters of corruption,is yet to say a word on the series of scams that have rocked the Punjab education department under Sikander Singh Maluka — its ally SAD’s minister.

Written by Chitleen K Sethi | Chandigarh | Updated: April 14, 2014 11:55 am

The BJP,which never misses a single opportunity to take on the UPA in matters of corruption,is yet to say a word on the series of scams that have rocked the Punjab education department under Sikander Singh Maluka — its ally SAD’s minister.

The BJP was among the first parties to demand the resignation of Union law minister from Gurdaspur,Ashwani Kumar in the coal block allocation case. It also raised hell when it came to allegations of corruption levelled against Union railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal — Congress MP from Chandigarh — who later resigned. However,in Punjab,it has maintained absolute silence on Maluka.

When contacted,BJP’s Punjab in-charge Shanta Kumar said,“I have read about the allegations in newspapers but I do not have much information. I cannot comment on the issue till I have all the facts with me.”

State party chief Kamal Sharma,who is also from Gurdaspur,has not given any public statement in this regard till now. He could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Former state BJP chief,Rajinder Bhandari,said allegations against Maluka was a non issue. “There is nothing much in what has come out till now. The Congress is just raising a bogey out of nothing. It has no issue in the state to counter the government and thus has picked up this matter and trying to get mileage out of it,” he added.

BJP vice-president Laxmi Kanta Chawla,meanwhile,maintained that its best that the state president comments on why the party is silent on the issue. “Kamal Sharma is the party head and he should speak on the issue,” she said.

When contacted,former BJP cabinet minister Manoranjan Kalia said: “A probe had been ordered by the chief minister in the matter. It is to be conducted by a former high court judge and we should wait for the report before judging the minister.”

Interestingly,in 2011,the central BJP leadership had asked all five ministers in the Punjab cabinet,two chief parliamentary secretaries and the deputy speaker to resign in the aftermath of a bribery scam in which party CPS Raj Kumar Khurana was arrested and two ministers — Kalia and Swarna Ram — were questioned by the CBI. The chief minister had then appreciated the “high moral” ground adopted by the BJP.

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