Former India cricketer and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Harbhajan Singh on Friday accused Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) president Gulzar Inder Singh Chahal of corruption.
Harbhajan, PCA’s chief advisor, has written to association members, its district units and Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann, alleging the current regime is indulging in unlawful activities.
“PCA is trying hard to induct 150 members with voting rights to keep the balance in their favour, and these inductions are being done without the knowledge of the apex council/general body and without consulting the Chief Advisor,” Harbhajan tells The Indian Express.
Earlier this year, 39-year-old Chahal was unanimously elected as the PCA president. Interestingly, he was also backed by Harbhajan, which the latter now admits was a mistake.
“Mai use jaanta hun magar uske andar kya hai wo mujhe nahi pata (I know him, but I had no idea about his motives). It is true that I backed and supported him, but it doesn’t mean that I will support his corrupt activities. I wanted to set a good example,” says Harbhajan.
He claims he was shocked when he came to know about the ‘malpractices’ going on in the PCA.
“It was very embarrassing as well as shocking for me. Everyone is pointing fingers at me. I can’t let it happen under my watch. I had to intervene. I had no other choice.
“The motive behind my support was to keep Punjab cricket in focus. I was given the responsibility of keeping Punjab cricket clean and I am doing that only. I will raise my voice against anyone who indulges in such illegal activities in Punjab Cricket. Above all, I represent a political party whose sole motive is to fight corruption.” Harbhajan says.
The tweaker with 417 Test wickets and 269 ODI scalps, who also won the ICC World T20 as well as the ODI World Cup, says if given an opportunity, he is ready to take charge of the state association.
“If CM (Mann) gives me the responsibility, I will work honestly and diligently,” he adds.
Meanwhile, Chahal, the youngest PCA president to date, refused to comment on the matter. “Since this matter is under consideration of the Worthy Ombudsman, it will not be appropriate for me to issue any statement,” he says.