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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

Cong takes dig at SAD over Bansal's conviction

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, April 21, 2013
First Published: 20:57 IST(21/4/2013) | Last Updated: 00:14 IST(22/4/2013)

The Congress on Sunday took a dig at the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) over the conviction of former MLA Mangat Rai Bansal in a foodgrain scam, saying that SAD president Sukhbir Badal had always been absorbing corrupt politicians in his party.

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A former MLA from the Congress stable, Bansal had joined the SAD only in September last year after losing a re-election bid in the 2012 polls. He got seven-year jail along with 21 others from a CBI special court in Patiala in a 1998 case of supplying substandard rice to the Food Corporation of India (FCI).

"As we are aware, while encouraging defections of various Congress leaders, (deputy chief minister and SAD president) Sukhbir Badal had vehemently claimed having special qualities to pick up valuable diamonds from amongst useless stones that included Joginder Pal Jain," Punjab Congress spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira said, specifically referring to Jain, who had been elected a Congress MLA in the 2012 polls but resigned, shifted to the SAD and got elected again from Moga as an Akali legislator.

Jain is also facing corruption charges like Bansal, Khaira stressed: "The day is not far when the recently picked diamond in Joginder Pal Jain will show its true colours."

Khaira also named ousted ministers Bibi Jagir Kaur and Tota Singh, both convicted in criminal cases, as well as re-inducted minister Gulzar Singh Ranike and former minister Sucha Singh Langah amongst SAD leaders "neck-deep in corruption".

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