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HindustanTimes Tue,30 Sep 2014

War over Warring ‘link’ with drug racket: Congress cries vendetta

Manpreet Randhawa, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, July 22, 2014
First Published: 07:56 IST(22/7/2014) | Last Updated: 12:05 IST(22/7/2014)

The Punjab Congress slammed the SAD-BJP government in the assembly on Monday after the Punjab police linked Congress MLA from Gidderbaha Amrinder Singh Raja Warring with a drug smuggler without any evidence.

Congress Legislature Party leader Sunil Jakhar raised the issue during Zero Hour that Mansa SSP Bhupinder Singh Khattra on Sunday had announced in a press conference of Raja Warring’s links with a drug peddler without even waiting for the investigation to end, hence giving rise to the suspicion that it might have been vendetta politics.

Jakhar said the very timing of the allegation and a press conference by the SSP put a question mark on the intention of the SAD-BJP government.

Just two days ago, during the assembly session, Congress MLA Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi had raised the issue of drug menace and wanted the SAD-BJP government to come up with a white paper on it.

Jakhar said the Mansa SSP accused Raja Warring on the basis of his phone number being found in the contact book of drug smuggler Gurlal Singh. However, when the Congress wanted an investigation against revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia after he was named by the drug lord, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal asked the members of the opposition to first bring evidence against him, he added.

“This clearly shows the double standards of the SAD-BJP government, which was not ready to get any investigation done against Majithia,” Jakhar said, at the same time clarifying that he never held Majithia guilty of anything.

“All Congress MLAs are firmly behind Raja Warring and we will not allow this kind of brazenness with which the Badal government wants to muzzle the voice of the opposition. We cannot be bullied around.

My main concern is that there cannot be a pick and choose policy of the government,” said Jakhar.

He said he was not pointing a finger at anyone, but let there be an independent probe either by the CBI or by a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court. He said he was not giving a clean chit to anyone. If there were allegations against the Akali or Congress MLAs, let there be a fair probe to know the truth, he added.

Raja Warring, in almost a chocked voice, said he was not in the house to ask for a clean chit or defend himself. But he had no trust in Punjab police in carrying out a fair probe. “I am ready to face the probe by the CBI or from a sitting judge,” said Warring.

He said he had dedicated his life to clean politics. He said he had no idea how his mobile number was found in the contact list of the drug smuggler and came to know from a journalist that his name figured in the investigation of Mansa police. “I tried to talk to the SSP but he told me to speak to the top bosses.”

Warring said the names of Majithia, Sarwan Singh Phillaur’s son and Virsa Singh Valtoha had also cropped up in drug-related issues, but they were never called by the Punjab police to join the investigation. “If I am found guilty, I would not only quit politics but life too,” said Warring.

Majithia regretted that a serious issue like drugs in the state had been made a mockery of by certain political leaders for their vested interests. He also talked about how he was mentally, emotionally and politically shattered when allegations were levelled against him.

He said the central agencies had found nothing against him and even the Punjab and Haryana high court had dismissed as withdrawn the case filed by state Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa and others.

Majithia said he was the biggest sufferer of such baseless allegations that had made a mockery of the system.

“When you were speaking I could see tears in your eyes. With you it has happened only two days ago.

But I have been facing this for the past six months. I have all the sympathy for you,” Majithia said pointing towards Warring. “I have my entire family worried — my parents, especially my mother, who has been bed-ridden for months after hearing such baseless allegations,” Majithia said.

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