Aam Aadmi Party, which is eyeing to wrest power in Punjab, on Monday protested against the alleged multi-crore foodgrain scam in the state in Chandigarh near Mohali.
Amid heavy security at the entry points of Chandigarh and Mohali, large number of AAP workers participated in the protest against SAD-BJP led Punjab government.
AAP has also planned to protest outside Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s residence in Chandigarh on the issue of foodgrain scam.
In another development, Punjab government on Monday inserted advertisement notices in newspapers claiming that they are maintaining accounts for every grain produced through Punjab procurement agencies and FCI.
It claimed that this was a “conspiracy of anti-Punjab elements” to “defame” Punjab and the issue was raised by opposition parties for their “political gains”.
“Beware of those (who are) out to defame Punjab,” said an advertisement.
Police have deployed riot control vehicles, fire fighting engines, ambulances to restrain the AAP activists from entering Chandigarh, officials said.
On Sunday, the Punjab chief minister cancelled his engagements in the wake of AAP’s protest.
Badal said that he would instead “remain available” at his residence to receive “any responsible political leader or representative for discussion on any issue concerning the people of the state.”
Referring to AAP’s protest, Badal had said, “This party had already delivered the most treacherous betrayal to the farmers of the state by backing out on the SYL issue. They cannot now pretend to be the sympathisers and supporters of the same farmers.”
However, AAP on their part had accused the SAD-BJP government of misusing the official machinery for “suppressing” its democratic right to protest in Chandigarh against the foodgrain scam.
AAP National Spokesman and in-charge party affairs in Punjab, Sanjay Singh has accused Badal of using “coercive ways and means at his command to ensure AAP doesn’t hold a massive protest demonstration and surround his official residence at Chandigarh to expose his misdeeds”.
“The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has unearthed the biggest food scam of the country accusing the Badal government of either siphoning off Rs 12,000 crore or the food grains worth the same amount from the Punjab godowns,” he further added.