A day after former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh opposed PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa, seeking a CBI probe against Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, the Congress high command has come out openly in support of Bajwa saying he has the backing of the senior party leadership to carry out the agitation programme against the SAD-BJP government.
AICC general secretary and in-charge Congress party affairs in Punjab, Shakeel Ahmed, told Hindustan Times that Bajwa had the complete support of the high command to press for the CBI probe against the Akali minister, who had been named by drug lord Jagdish Bhola before the media.
"The AICC also supports the agitation programme chalked out by the PPCC to put pressure on the Akali government to hand over the probe to the CBI against its minister," said Ahmed.
On Amarinder opposing the CBI probe and favouring the ongoing investigation by the Punjab Police, Ahmed said these could be his personal views but both the AICC and PPCC wanted the probe to be conducted by a central investigating agency.
Ahmed said since the issue pertained to narcotics and had international ramifications as well, where even the Narcotic Control Board of India could also play a vital role in providing significant leads to the investigating agency, Punjab Police did not seem to have the expertise and competence to do the job in a free and fair manner.
Ahmed said the Congress high command had appointed two AICC secretaries and MLAs -- Ashwani Sekhri and Kuljit Singh Nagra -- as coordinators to ensure that the PPCC agitation was well organised and had directed to demand the CBI probe against the minister. "The senior leadership of the Congress has taken the allegation against the Akali minister seriously and would want a thorough probe on the issue," he added.
Amarinder had endorsed the ongoing Punjab police investigation and opposed the transfer of the multi-crore drug racket case to the CBI or any other central agency.
Reacting to Amarinder's stand, former MP and senior leader Jagmeet Brar said he was shocked at the former's stand which, he said, was an attempt to sabotage the campaign of the PPCC. "I don't know under what pressure Amarinder is working but it has exposed the real ground on which he is," said Brar, who had filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court earlier this week, demanding a CBI probe into the drug scandal. The court has already issued a notice of motion to the state government.
Meanwhile, Bajwa, without commenting on Amarinder's stand, said the AICC and PPCC had decided together that the case must be handed over to the CBI.