Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sukhpal Khaira on Saturday accused chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy, Sukhbir Singh Badal, of shielding senior officials involved in siphoning off Rs 1.8 crore meant for distribution among the poor for construction of dwellings under the Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY).
Addressing a press conference here, Khaira showed documents procured under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and alleged that Rs 1.8 crore allocated to Kapurthala district in 2011-12 were pocketed by corrupt officials, sarpanches and private bank staff. He said the IAY grant was meant to be allocated to the poorest of poor for constructing houses, with Rs 45,000 meant for each beneficiary.
As per the documents shown by Khaira, the Kapurthala deputy commissioner constituted a five-member inquiry panel, under the zila parishad chief executive officer (CEO), in December 2015. The panel indicted the then Kapurthala additional deputy commissioner (development) Satish Chander Vashisht, zila parishad CEO Baljit Singh Sandhu and Dhilwan block development and panchayat officer Nirvail Singh besides one panchayat secretary, an ex-sarpanch in the case, said Khaira.
“Unfortunately, not only the higher authorities are sitting on the panel report, the indicted officials are enjoying plum postings. The ‘mastermind’, Satish Chander Vashisht, is currently the ADC(D) at Rupnagar while Nirvail Singh has been paid all remunerations after his retirement. No criminal proceedings have been recommended against all the officials. Also, the manager and other staff of the Axis Bank branch in Dhilwan, who opened fake accounts and allowed the officials to withdraw government money, have not been summoned during the inquiry,” said Khaira.
Vashisht is already facing a case of forgery during the auction of panchayat land in Hussainpuri Bhulle village. An FIR was lodged against the former ADC besides gram sewak Harbhajan Singh and the village sarpanch at Kabirpur police station in September 2012.
“People can see how the corrupt Badal regime is providing full protection to corrupt officials in the state. It’s because these officials, after looting the money meant for the poor, submit a share to Badals,” alleged Khaira.
The AAP leader demanded immediate and strict criminal proceedings against all officers found guilty by the probe panel besides their immediate suspension or dismissal.