Ambika Soni, Congress candidate for the Anandpur Sahib Lok Sabha seat, on Monday asked the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) government in Punjab to curb both illegal mining and extortion related to the business.
"Goonda tax is being collected in the name of royalty and some leaders are making pointless statements in the media to blame the union government," she said during the campaign in SAS Nagar on Monday, asking the state government to state facts so that the Centre could decide on exemptions.
The senior Congress leader referred to the HT series on mining mafia, seeking clarifications from even her own party's rank and file on the issue. The 4-part series had exposed how the mining mafia extorted money to allow illegal shipping of the mined sand mineral.
"Illegal mining has become a major issue in the past few days, in which certain leaders resorted to the blame game and shied from accepting responsibility for the growing menace," said Soni.
Her Akali rival Prem Singh Chandumjra had blamed the delay in the central environmental clearance to the quarries for illegal mining in the state.
The state government should state facts so that the Centre can decide on exemptions
Ambika Soni, Congress candidate for Anandpur Sahib seat