Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Kangra member of Parliament (MP) Shanta Kumar has come to the defence of state party chief Kamal Sharma in a controversy where his (Sharma’s) aides, including an ex-personal assistant, have been arrested for allegedly taking bribe to settle cases of drug smuggling registered by the Ferozepur police.
Kumar, in addressed a press conference in the city on Thursday, said, “Sharma is not involved in any illegal activity and his name has never even cropped up during investigation and interrogation of the arrested accused,” Kumar added.
Lakhvinder Singh, alias Lakha, a Ferozepur Bhartiya Janata Youth Morcha (BJYM) president and Jaspal Singh, alias Jimmy Sandhu, were booked in connection with a drug case last week. Jaspal Singh was the personal assistant of Sharma.
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal have also supported Sharma, and have stated that Sharma had nothing to do with the drug case.
When questioned that the BJP had vociferously demanded the resignation of revenue minister Bikramjeet Singh Majithia after his name cropped in the Bhola drug racket, Kumar was evasive.
“State governments must take responsibility to curb the menace. Drug menace has become a serious problem in Himachal Pradesh too,” he claimed.
On Jalandhar central MLA Manoranjan Kalia’s recent allegations that he had misappropriated elections funds during the Lok Sabha polls last year, the veteran leader said, “The issue is closed chapter.”
He refused to comment further.
He also criticised the Congress for paralysing Parliamant’s monsoon session and said it had led to stalling of important bills like the GST and the land acquisition bill.