The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Tuesday demanded Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit to dismiss the Bhagwant Mann government for its gross failure to maintain law and order in the state.
A party delegation led by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal submitted a memorandum to the Governor accusing the AAP government of indulging in corruption running into hundreds of crores while framing the liquor and sand mining policy and suppressing the freedom of the press.
Badal said the gangsters and extortion culture which had become common during AAP tenure was not only affecting businessmen who were leaving the state but also the common man.
“No one is safe. Even police stations are being attacked as was seen in Ajnala but no case was registered in the matter.” This state of affairs had a direct bearing on the Investment Summit organized by the AAP government which was a complete flop. Unemployment has also increased due to this besides social unrest,” he added.
The SAD delegation also urged that the probe into the Delhi excise scam by the CBI be extended to Punjab. It said like in the case of Delhi, its deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia was also instrumental in making the Punjab excise policy.
Badal said Sisodia also held meetings with Punjab officials to finalise the excise policy which was monopolistic in nature and designed to ensure a quid pro quo for the AAP. He said in the same manner blacklisted sand mining contractor Rakesh Chaudhary, who had many cases registered against him, had been reallocated sand mining contracts in a deal which smacked of corruption.
He demanded an independent probe into both scams which he said were in the range of Rs 800 Crore to Rs 900 Crore.
On being named as one of the masterminds in the Kotkapura police firing incident, Badal said the Chief Minister and his ministers are acting like both judge and prosecutor. He said ministers were announcing dates when challans would be presented besides predicting those who would be indicted in them. All this points to a witch hunt and is a case of political vendetta”, said adding “we have full faith in the judiciary.”
The SAD also demanded a probe into the threats received by managing editor of Ajit newspaper, Barjinder Singh Hamdard and alleged the government was trying to suppress the freedom of the Press by denying advertisements to Ajit besides even barring its reporters from covering the proceedings of the Assembly.
The SAD delegation said Mann was not fit to sit in the CM’s chair. It also expressed shock at the CM’s statement that he had a complete dossier on the corrupt activities of the previous Congress ministers.
Badal said it was a fact that the previous Congress government was most corrupt but it was even more mystifying as to why the CM was not taking any action against former Congress ministers despite having proof of their corrupt activities in his possession. The SAD chief also demanded that a CBI inquiry should be initiated into the murder of noted singer Sidhu Moosewala.