Updated: June 8, 2022 2:48:41 am
Former Punjab minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, who was arrested by Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) in an alleged corruption case from Amloh in Patiala early Tuesday, is a five-time former Congress MLA from the Nabha (SC reserved) Assembly constituency.
The arrest of Dharamsot, 62, came days after the VB had arrested Mohali’s former district forest officer (DFO) Guramanpreet Singh after a sting video in which he was seen seeking a bribe for the sale of illegal farmhouses in the vicinity of Chandigarh came to the fore. Sources said the former minister has been arrested based on the inputs from Singh.
A dyed-in-wool Congressman, Dharamsot was inducted by former chief minister Amarinder Singh into his Cabinet as forests and social welfare minister. Dharamsot, who belongs to the Bazigar community, was defeated by Aam Aadmi Party’s Dev Mann in the 2022 Assembly elections.
Dharmasot had courted several controversies during his stint as the Punjab Cabinet minister. Once he had called himself a “seeri” (servant) of the chief minister (Amarinder Singh then), who he had referred to as a royal, who had given him a major assignment.
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During Amarinder’s regime, his name had surfaced in an alleged post-Matric SC scholarship scam when the administrative secretary of the social welfare department Kripa Shankar Saroj had written to the then chief secretary Vini Mahajan about irregularities in funds. The Centre had provided the state with Rs 303 crore for the SC scholarship fund. Saroj had alleged that Rs 248 crore was distributed in an arbitrary manner and Rs 39 crore was missing. Amarinder had ordered an inquiry which cleared Dharamsot.
Dharamsot had strongly sided with Amarinder Singh in the face of a revolt against him by his Cabinet ministers. He did not change camps but stayed with the Congress when Amarinder decided to quit the party.
He was among the four ministers who were dropped by Amarinder’s successor Charanjit Singh Channi in his Cabinet. Of the four, three—Balbir Sidhu, Gurpreet Kangar and Sunder Sham Arora—joined the BJP recently.
A few days ago, Dharamsot had stated that he was with the Congress, no matter who the president of the party was. He spoke highly of AICC president Sonia Gandhi stating that she had given him many opportunities.
Having contested from Amloh constituency earlier, Dharamsot was now representing Nabha. He was defeated by AAP’s Gurdev Singh Mann by a margin of over 50,000 votes in recent elections.
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