Discordant notes in Congress over CBI probe demand

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Dec 21, 2014 21:08 IST

While inside the assembly the Congress strategy would be to corner the SAD-BJP government over Enforcement Directorate (ED) summoning revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, the party spoke in rather discordant notes outside.

Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa demanded that Majithia should resign before appearing for questioning to pave the way for a "transparent" investigation. Reiterating his demand for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Bajwa said, "The ED has jurisdiction only with regard to violations and offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, whereas the allegations against Majithia are of aiding, abetting and facilitating the multi- crore drug racket for which the provisions of the NDPS Act, 1985, would squarely apply, and he ought be prosecuted under the provisions of this Act. The present probe is a classic example of dividing the investigation between the ED, the state police and other agencies so that a foolproof or watertight case is not prepared."

He added, "While the ED has now summoned Majithia, the stand of Punjab Police is that he is innocent… The problem of drug menace has assumed alarming social proportions in Punjab and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken note of it. But the Badals have been blaming smuggling from across the border and neighbouring states."

My stand vindicated: Capt

Shying away from either demanding the resignation of Majithia or raising the issue in the Parliament, Congress deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Captain Amarinder Singh claimed that the summoning of Majithia by the ED had vindicated his stand against a CBI probe.

Amarinder said he had consistently been maintaining that the state police was not the only one to do so as there were other agencies like the Revenue Intelligence and Enforcement Directorate were also involved. "Handing the matter over to the CBI - as demanded by some people at that stage when the Punjab Police and other agencies were already doing their job - would have only delayed and derailed the investigations and it would have taken years for summoning the accused," he said. When asked if would be present in the Lok Sabha during the last two days of the session, he said it would depend on his mother's health. He would be leaving for Dubai on Wednesday after the session ends.

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