The Opposition in Punjab Sunday demanded a CBI probe under the supervision of a sitting high court judge into the alleged multi-crore post-matric SC scholarship scam in which Cabinet Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot’s name figures.
The Aam Aadmi Party, Shiromani Akali Dal and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party also questioned Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s decision of directing the chief secretary probe the case, asking how can the chief secretary conduct an unbiased probe against a Cabinet minister.
In a statement, Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema said that the Congress government has been trying to save a corrupt minister and the process of getting a clean chit from the Chief Secretary has started.
“This is a double deception with Punjab, especially with several Dalit students whose bright future has been scuttled by this corrupt gang in conjunction with education mafia. How can a chief secretary conduct unbiased investigation against a sitting cabinet minister? It is a futile exercise aimed at diverting the attention of the public and AAP categorically rejects it,” Cheema said.
Cheema said that if the Chief Minister does not trust the detailed investigation done by one of his Additional Chief Secretaries with documentary evidence, then the probe should have been handed over to the CBI or any central agency under the supervision of sitting judge of the High Court.
“Instead of sending Dharamsot to jail, CM wants to retain him in the Cabinet despite the fact that many senior Congress leaders are demanding to sack him. Actually the matter is directly related to the Dalit class and the attitude of Raja-Maharajas towards the poor, Dalits and common people has been negative for centuries,” Cheema said.
The SAD too rejected the chief secretary’s probe, saying it was an exercise “to secure a clean chit for Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot”. It also demanded a CBI probe into the alleged scam.
The SAD demanded that Dharamsot be sacked and a criminal case registered against him besides a separate case under the Prevention of Atrocities Act “for playing with the future of lakhs of Dalit students in the state”.
Former Union minister and BJP leader Vijay Sampla too demanded that the probe in the case be handed over to either the CBI or a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He demanded dismissal of Dharamsot from the Cabinet till the inquiry is completed.
“Everyone is aware how former chief secretary was made to file his resignation under the pressure from Cabinet ministers over an issue and in such a situation, the (incumbent) chief secretary would not be able to conduct the inquiry without political pressure,” said Sampla, adding that if the inquiry is not handed over to CBI or sitting judge, they will start protests across the state “to get justice for the poor students who have been deprived from this grant for years”.
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