The Punjab Congress on Sunday demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the reported disbursement of several crores of rupees in the name of housing for the poor from the State Infrastructure Fund (SIF), with Rs 40 crore from the total of Rs 45 crore reportedly granted for Mukstar district alone.
"Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, in order to reap political dividends in the run-up to the assembly elections, grossly misused SIF funds to favour Akali workers, which needs to be investigated urgently," senior Congressman and former MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira said in a statement here.
HT had reported ('Badal's home district got Rs 40 crore in election year', October 19) that of the Rs 45 crore allocated under the SIF to help economically weaker sections (EWS) construct or repair houses, Rs 40 crore was pumped into Muktsar, the home district of the chief minister, during the election year in the run-up to the January 30 assembly polls.
Khaira stated that this was done merely to influence poor voters and favour the Akalis. The remaining Rs 5 crore were distributed among five districts - SAS Nagar, Ferozepur, Ludhiana, Gurdaspur and Patiala while no such funds were granted to the other 17 districts of the state.
Questioning the Rs 35,000 grant to construct a dwelling, Khaira alleged that Akali workers had siphoned off the entire sum of Rs 40 crore.