Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia on Thursday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Government over alleged Rs 400 Crore scam in collection of royalty from vehicles carrying sand and gravel into Punjab besides reviving the contracts of two sand mining mafia kingpins associated with the previous Congress government one month after they had been terminated.
Accusing the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann of heading the royalty scam in league with AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal, the SAD leader displayed receipts showing how only a fraction of the Rs Seven per cubic feet loyalty announced by the government on sand was collected by the state government, indicating underhand collection from inter-state vehicles by AAP.
He said the new mining policy has given the authority to fix royalty on inter-state vehicles to the CM and a majority of funds collected on this account were going directly to AAP instead of the state exchequer.
“As many as 2,000 trucks filled with sand and gravel enter Punjab from neighbouring states every day. At least half of the loyalty due from them is being appropriated by AAP,” Majithia said.
The former minister said two mining mafia kingpins – Rakesh Chaudhary and Ashok Chandak – had been given charge of mining in Punjab in an underhand deal with the sole purpose of collecting money for AAP.
He said after terminating Chaudhry’s contract to mine sand in Mohali and Ropar districts on December 21 last year, the AAP government had renewed his contract on January 27 this year by awarding him the same zones.
“This was done despite four cases being registered against Chaudhary in Ropar district besides a CBI inquiry marked by the high court after the ‘goonda tax ‘ levied by Chaudhary was exposed by a chief judicial magistrate in a covert operation”. Majithia said.
He said the second contractor, Ashok Chandak, who was also extremely close to the Congress high command, had also been issued a termination of his contract on 21 December last year before it was renewed on 31 January last month.
He said Chandak had also been awarded the same sites of Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Nawanshahr from which he was mining sand earlier under the Congress regime. The SAD leader said these twin scams as bigger than the Delhi excise policy scam.