The BJP in Punjab on Tuesday met Governor V P Singh Badnore and demanded an independent probe into the bagging of mining contracts recently allegedly by the four former employees of cabinet minister Rana Gurjit Singh. Rejecting probe into the matter by a judicial commission, announced on Monday by chief minister Amarinder Singh, the delegation sought an inquiry by the CBI or other central agencies into the granting of mining contracts to the employees of Rana’s firm. The delegation urged the governor to order an independent probe into the alleged sand mining scam involving Rana along with his “employees” Amit Bahadur, Kulvinder Paul Singh, Gurinder Singh and Balraj Singh.
Former state president Madan Mohan Mittal, state vice-presidents Harjit Singh Grewal and Iqbal Singh Lalpura, state general secretary Manjit Singh Rai and state secretaries Vineet Joshi and Vijay Puri were part of the delegation.
Following attacks by the Opposition, Singh ordered a probe by a judicial commission into the matter.
The BJP leaders also expressed apprehensions that owing to his position in the state government and his political status in the Congress, Irrigation and Power minister Rana can influence the probe.
Addressing the media after their meeting with the governor, Joshi said that it is a proved case of shadow/proxy biding by cabinet minister Rana Gurjit Singh to capture mining business through his men by taking undue advantage or misusing or abusing his government position.
“It is a case of corruption, breach of trust and clash of interest. Moreover, it is a violation of the oath taken in the name of Constitution of India by Rana while assuming office of the cabinet minister,” he said.
He said that it is a case of “benami transactions” where persons with insignificant incomes are depositing crore of rupees into government exchequer.
The source of benami transactions will lead to money laundering and hawala transactions, he alleged.
He said that the huge unaccounted money exchanged into many hands is a potential threat to national security.
“Any Commission which is not headed by a sitting high court judge cannot be called as judicial commission. So, it is a simple commission constituted under the Commission of Inquiry Act and by naming it as a judicial commission, the chief minister is trying to mislead the people of Punjab”, he said.
Opposition parties AAP, SAD and BJP have been demanding immediate sacking of Rana for allegedly acquiring sand and gravel mines through “benaami transactions in the name of his former cook and staff”.
Notably, a two-day e-auction of sand mines in Punjab had culminated with bids worth Rs 1,026 crore secured for 89 mines.
The Congress government had earlier claimed that there would be complete transparency in the e-auction of sand mines.