The money spent on the lawyer hired to defend gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari so that he stayed in a Punjab jail has snowballed into a controversy with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann going ahead with his announcement to recover the same from then CM Captain Amarinder Singh and then Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa by seeking to file a recovery notice to them.
This was after Randhawa on Monday threatened to file a defamation case against Mann for allegedly indulging in his character assassination by accusing him of extending largesse to Ansari.
After the Congress leader challenged the CM to issue a recovery notice to him with regard to the Ansari matter, Mann took to Twitter to share a letter signed by him for putting up the file for recovery of the expenditure incurred on the lawyer hired to ensure Ansari remained in Punjab jail equally from Captain Amarinder and Randhawa.
In the letter, the CM said that engaging senior advocate Dushyant Dave for defending the case of Ansari was not required as no public interest or interest of the state of Punjab was involved in the case. It said that expenditure incurred on the lawyer (Dave) may be recovered equally from former Jail Minister Randhawa and former CM Captain as they proposed and approved to engage Dave as an advocate in this case.
Reacting to Mann’s statement on Sunday to recover Rs 55 lakh spent on Ansari’s stay in state jail from the former CM and Randhawa, Amarinder, who is in the Bharatiya Janata Party now had asked Mann to learn the process of law and investigation before issuing such statements that only expose his ignorance about the process of governance.
Captain Amarinder had advised Mann to better first learn and gain experience before making such ignorant statements about the processes of governance. Hitting back, Mann later said history is testimony to the fact that the self proclaimed ‘wiseness’ of Patiala scion (Amarinder) has ruined the state.
The CM said the entire Punjab knows that Captain had always been bothered about his chair rather than the state and its people. He said that by confining himself in palaces Captain has totally ignored the interests of the state during his days in power. Bhagwant Mann said that history is a fact that Captain has a lineage of backstabbing Punjab and Punjabis.
In April this year, Mann returned the file to make payment worth Rs 55 lakh from state exchequer to the senior advocate Dushyant Dave who represented the Punjab government in the Supreme Court in 2021 when the Uttar Pradesh government had sought Ansari’s transfer to UP awaiting clearance from the Punjab government which had opposed the transfer.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) state government had early this year marked a probe into the allegations related to Ansari’s stay in Punjab which pointed out glaring lapses by the jail department in arranging the stay.The inquiry report alleged Ansari had connections with some state and national Congress leaders. Ansari was in Ropar jail in connection with an extortion case from January 2019 to April 2021 during the tenure of the previous Congress government led by Captain Amarinder Singh.