In a move that could further strain the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab, the saffron outfit on Monday sought resignation of revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia after the enforcement directorate served summons on him in connection with the international drug racket case.
BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh urged chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to follow the precedent of morality set by him and ask Majithia to resign.
"The chief minister had himself sought cabinet minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur's resignation on similar grounds and in the same case, and it would not be in the interest of either the Akali Dal or the government to apply different yardsticks to different persons involved in a single case," Chugh said in a statement here.
Making it clear that there was "nothing personal and no ill-will was involved", Chugh said what BJP was suggesting was to protect the image of the government run by the SAD-BJP alliance. The ruling alliance has been going through a rough patch for the past several months.
"All governments which claim morality have been following this precedent... Majithia should have himself offered to resign. He can join the government again as and when he comes clear of the charges...," he said.
In fact, it would have been in tune with the ideology of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has a very clear stand on the issue of drug, he said.
Majithia, brother-in-law of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and brother of Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, has been summoned by ED to appear before it on December 26 in connection with alleged money laundering in the Rs 6,000-crore drug racket case.
Chugh said his party had been demanding resignation of SAD chief parliamentary secretary Avinash Chander too as it is committed to upholding high moral standards and keep the polity clean and has a firm stand against the drug trade not only on the state level but at national level also.
Slamming state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa for "politicising" the sensitive issue of drugs for his personal vested interests, Chugh said the Congress should look within before issuing statements on the issue.
"Actually, Bajwa needs to come clear as to how many times and by what means he has asked for the resignation of Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary who too had been summoned by ED in the same case," Chug said.