August 30, 2020 8:33:01 pm
A day after Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal demanded a CBI probe into alleged scholarship scam, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Sunday called it nothing more than the rantings of a frivolous politician who was in the habit of demanding a CBI probe into any and every case, thus further undermining the agency’s special status, which had already taken a beating under the BJP-led NDA government.
Coming out strongly against the SAD leader, the CM in a statement said that instead of using her position as a minister in the Union Cabinet to further Punjab’s interests, Harsimrat spent all her time bending backwards to please her political masters in the NDA alliance at the cost of the welfare of the people of the state.
Not only did her demand for a CBI investigation into the alleged scholarship scam expose her total lack of trust in the highly competent and professional police force and administration of the state, it was also against India’s legal and judicial principles, which empowered only the state government to seek a CBI probe where it deemed necessary, Amarinder said.
The CM said Harsimrat had no locus standi in the matter and was merely trying to mislead the people of Punjab with her political stunts and motivated statements.
Citing the CBI’s poor track record in handling major cases in Punjab, the CM pointed out that the central agency had failed to solve even a single of the four cases of targeted killings, including that of RSS leader Brigadier (Retd) Jagdish Kumar Gagneja, that were handed over to them by the Akali regime.
Amarinder also lashed out at Harsimrat for letting down the Sikh community in the sacrilege cases, by first transferring the cases to the central agency and then manipulating it to file closure reports without even making a pretence of solving them. It is eventually left to the Punjab Police to solve these cases, and the force is doing an excellent job of it, with even some senior police officials taken into custody for their involvement, he pointed out.
Even now, the CBI was trying to scuttle the probe in the sacrilege cases, apparently at the behest of the BJP-led Central government, on whose diktats the agency seemed to be operating, the CM said. “If Harsimrat is so keen to protect the interests of the people of Punjab, as she claims to be, why does she not leverage her position in the Central government to put pressure on CBI to return the files to the Punjab Police for taking forward the investigation in the sacrilege cases?” he asked.
The CM asserted that his government was committed to a thorough and fair probe into the alleged scholarship scam, and bring those found guilty, irrespective of their position, to book.
The CM pointed out that even in the matter of the post-matric SC scholarship, neither Harsimrat nor her party tried to stop the Union Government from withdrawing the scheme, thus depriving lakhs of SC students the right to higher education. “Where was Harsimrat then? Why did she not comment then?” he asked, adding that instead of jumping and prancing around making unwarranted statements and unsubstantiated allegations, she should go to the Centre for restoring the scheme first.
Despite being a Union Minister, Harsimrat had never spared a thought for the people of Punjab, Amarinder said, citing the Centre’s recent anti-farmer ordinances, whose passage was actively supported by the Akalis, who did not even have the courage to attend the Assembly session to pass a resolution expressing the state’s angst against the same.
The fact of the matter is that Harsimrat, and her SAD, are only concerned about promoting their political interests, the CM said. From CAA to the agriculture ordinances, she and her party have exposed their double standards and lack of principles time and again, he added.
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