The Congress rank and file on Tuesday held dharnas in front of the offices of block education officers (BEOs) in the two border districts of Amritsar and Tarn Taran to demand the sacking of education minister Sikander Singh Maluka and registration of a case against him in the textbook purchase scam.
At a dharna held in front of the BEO office in Majitha, Congress workers led by Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lalli Majithia burnt the effigies of deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia and Maluka. They demanded that the CM sack Maluka and immediately get a case registered against him.
Lalli Majithia appealed to Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa to take up the textbook scam case involving Maluka with the central government as funds obtained under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) etc were embezzled.
"These are central funds and hence Bajwa should make efforts with the central government to get a CBI inquiry instituted. Any inquiry by the state government will be an eyewash," said Lalli Majithia in a statement issued later.
A similar protest was organised in front of the BEO's office at Ajnala, in which Congress DCC (rural) president Harpartap Singh Ajnala too demanded a CBI inquiry. "Every penny pocketed by Maluka and his kin must be accounted for as this is the taxpayers' money," he added while addressing his party workers.
Similar dharnas were held at Baba Bakala, Patti and several other block-level towns in the border districts, with Congress leaders demanding the sacking of the minister and booking him along with others in a corruption case.