iconimg Monday, April 27, 2015

Harjinder Sidhu, Hindustan Times
Bathinda, May 07, 2013
Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) would not have nabbed the kin of union minister Pawan Bansal had they a clue about their links to the railway minister.
"The CBI did this by mistake. It had no clue that the scam they were exposing was directly linked to Bansal. Otherwise, the CBI would have avoided nabbing a minister's kin. Now the CBI's focus will be on saving Bansal," Sukhbir said while talking to reporters after a function organised to pay tributes to Sikh fighter Jassa Singh Ramgarhia here on Tuesday.

"Now they are enacting a drama and in the coming days the CBI will say that Bansal has no connection with the scam," said Sukhbir.

About the Congress backing to both cabinet ministers from Punjab, who were in the eye of a controversy, Sukhbir said, "Ashwani Kumar and Pawan Bansal must have convinced their bosses that they are not alone in the controversy. There are many other ministers in this government who are looting the country. So the government has decided that they all will go together as only a few months are left for the general election."

Sukhbir accused the Gandhi family of saving Sajjan Kumar. He said, "There were clear instructions to the CBI to produce only those papers and affidavits in the court that could save Sajjan Kumar and the other accused."

Sukhbir said he, along with the chief minister and senior Akali leaders, would meet President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday, seeking his intervention on the constitution of a special investigation team and for putting all these cases in a special court.

When asked if the SAD was in favour of abolishing the death sentence, he said they wanted an all party meeting on this.

Sukhbir said, "The zila parishad and panchayat elections are a trial for the parliamentary elections. The Congress has recently appointed its new state president, who makes so many claims. Let this be his first test."

SAD eyes backward classes
By celebrating the 290th birth anniversary of Ramgarhia, the SAD has been eyeing to mobilise the vote bank comprising the backward classes ahead of the elections.

Addressing the audience, former cabinet minister Heera Singh Gabria said the party would form village-level committees of backward-class people and soon a huge gathering of the community would be called in the coming months.

Gabria urged Sukhbir to take necessary steps so that more and more people from backward classes could avail the benefits of reservation. He also demanded that the exemption on power bills be given to the industry making agricultural tools for farmers.

Paying tributes to Ramgarhia, Sukhbir said the government was committed to the welfare of the community.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included education minister Sikander Singh Maluka and CPS Sarup Chand Singla.