The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Saturday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the ‘proxy’ sand mine auctions in Punjab. The SAD said the CBI inquiry should focus on procedural lapses as well as the key people, including finance minister Manpreet Badal and mining department officials, who were responsible for making the new policy and conduct of the 21 May auction.
Senior SAD leader Prem Singh Chandumajra said it was clear that officials had turned a blind eye to ‘proxy acquisition’ of sand mines by senior Congress leaders and ministers.
“It needs to be ascertained as to who had instructed officers to allow proxy bidding by cooks and employees of Irrigation and Power minister Rana Gurjit Singh as well as a single bid by 17 Congress legislators.”
Chandumajra also termed the cancellation of the auction of the remaining 55 mines scheduled for tomorrow as a farce. “If the government was interested in a free and fair exercise it should cancel the 21 May auction also.
He said it was only after the SAD had raised its voice against the illegalities committed in the first auction that the government was now insisting that the bidders submit proper documents.
The senior Akali leader said the SAD would take the issue to the people and force the government to cancel the auction forthwith.