Sand mines auction: AAP MLAs marching towards CM house detained, freed

Capt Amarinder’s OSD, Sandeep Sandhu, visited the AAP MLAs at the police station and offered to set up a meeting with the CM, but the offer was rejected by AAP leaders.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: May 31, 2017 1:44 am
AAP MLAs and Chandigarh Police clash outside Punjab Vidhan Sabha Tuesday. Kamleshwar Singh 

AAP MLAs were on Tuesday taken into preventive detention at the Punjab Vidhan Sabha gate by the Chandigarh Police as they tried to march towards the residence of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to give a memorandum demanding removal of Rana Gurjit Singh from the state Cabinet. Led by Leader of Opposition, HS Phoolka, state president Bhagwant Mann, co-president Aman Arora and Bholath MLA Sukhpal Khaira, AAP MLAs raised slogans against Rana Gurjit for his alleged involvement in the allocation of sand mines to his cook and other employees. After their detention the MLAs were taken to Sector 17 police station before being released after a few hours.

Capt Amarinder’s OSD, Sandeep Sandhu, visited the AAP MLAs at the police station and offered to set up a meeting with the CM, but the offer was rejected by AAP leaders. “We said that there was no point in meeting the CM after the manner in which he got us treated by the police,” said Khaira. Addressing the media, Phoolka said that there is an emergency like situation in Punjab and even the Leader of Opposition and elected representatives are not allowed to meet the CM. He said that there are clear evidences that Rana Gurjit Singh is directly involved in the sand mining, but Captain Amarinder is shying away from taking action against him.

“The silence of Amarinder indicates that along with Rana he himself has stakes in the contracts of sand mines,” Phoolka said. AAP state president and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann said: “Captain Amrinder Singh who used to talk about sending Badals and their allies to jails for their illegal trade is now seems helpless in taking action against his own minister. If Amarinder knows the formula of making crores of rupees in the job of a cook then he must tell it the youths of Punjab so that the unemployed youth can earn their livelihood by learning the trick.”

Sukhpal Khaira said that AAP will stick to its demand of resignation of the minister. “The Income tax returns of cook shows annual income of Rs 92000 then what was the source of the Rs 13 crore deposited after the auction,” he questioned. AAP co-convener Aman Arora and Khaira sustained minor injuries in jostling with the police at the barricade set up outside Vidhan Sabha.

BJP delegation meets Governor Badnore 

Meanwhile, a delegation of Punjab unit of the BJP met Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore and demanded a CBI probe into the sand mining “scam”. BJP leaders also sought independent investigation of cases by the Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax Dept and National Investigating Agency (NIA). The delegation comprised of former Cabinet minister Madan Mohan Mittal, state vice-presidents Harjit Singh Grewal and Iqbal Singh Lalpura, state general secretary Manjit Singh Rai and state secretary Vineet Joshi.

Addressing the media after meeting the Governor, Vineet Joshi said: “At the very outset it is a proved case of shadow/proxy biding by Punjab Cabinet Minister Rana Gurjit Singh to capture mining business through his men by taking undue advantage of his position. It is a case of corruption. “Any Commission which is not headed by a sitting High Court judge cannot be called as Judicial Commission. 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.”

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