September 26, 2021 1:05:09 pm
Six MLAs and a former minister from Doaba region have written to Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Navjot Sidhu seeking to drop “tainted” leader Rana Gurjeet Singh from the proposed Cabinet. A copy of the letter has also been sent to Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.
Alleging that Singh is a corrupt politician, the leaders requested that the Cabinet berth be allotted, instead, to a clean Dalit leader.
“We the undersigned MLAs and leaders of Doaba wish to convey huge resentment amongst public and the Congress cadre on the proposed inclusion of tainted Rana Gurjeet Singh. Needless to mention, he was dropped from the cabinet in January 2018 due to the infamous mining scandal involving him, his family and his companies directly in the said scandal,” said the letter, a copy of which is with The Indian Express.
Though the letter mentions the names of seven Congress leaders including former minister Mohinder Singh Kaypee and MLAs Navtej Singh Cheema (Sultanpur Lodhi), Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal (Phagwara), Bawa Henry (Jalandhar North), Dr Raj Kumar (Chabewal), Pawan Adiya (Sham Churasi) and Sukhpal Singh Khaira (Bholath), it has reportedly been signed only by Dhaliwal.
While the other MLAs confirmed that they had forwarded the request, former PPCC chief Kaypee said the letter does not bear his signature. He also refused to comment on Rana’s inclusion in the Cabinet.
They pointed out that the Punjab government had to forfeit approximately Rs 25 crore as a result of Singh’s activities and that the Justice Narang Commission had revealed that Singh’s front company had received Rs 5 crore as gratification for a mining auction.
“We wonder why Rana Gurjeet Singh is being included in the Cabinet as he was dropped in January 2018 because of above said charges and has got no clean chit from any court or government,” they said.
The letter further mentioned that despite the Dalit population in Doaba region being nearly 38 per cent, among the three ministers proposed to be included in the Cabinet from the region, two are Jat Sikhs and one is an OBC Sikh. “Therefore, we all request you to immediately drop Rana Gurjeet Singh from the proposed Cabinet expansion and instead include a clean Dalit face in view of the upcoming elections,” the letter said.
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