The Opposition is giving no respite to cornered minister Sucha Singh Langah.
A legislative committee to look into the corruption charges against the minister, and a sitting high court judge to examine the re-allotment of a plot to him in Gurdaspur is what Sunil Jakhar, leader of opposition in the state assembly, has sought in press statement released here on Friday.
"The skeletons of corruption, the misappropriation of public funds and the misuse of state power for private good are tumbling out of the Akali-BJP government closet like the daily episodes of a soap opera," read Jakhar's statement.
"Already, three ministers of the state coalition government have had to quit the cabinet this year because of misconduct allegations, and now the way Sucha Singh Langah has pocketed discretionary funds and caused his colleagues to be part of this exercise speaks volumes of the corruption and cheapness that has afflicted the Akali leadership" he said.
"He (Langah) abused his position of power to get the Gurdaspur improvement trust to re-allot him his cancelled plot, which calls for investigation by a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court," Jakhar added.
Langah was agriculture minister of Punjab when the Centre gave away Rs 1,500 crore to the state under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna, National Food Security Mission, Micro Management Work Plan and National Horticulture Mission to help small and medium farmers augment their irrigation facilities and make farming a sustainable occupation. "Here too, gross irregularities came to the fore and the matter was raised on the floor of Punjab assembly house in 2010 and 2011," said the opposition leader.
Since no action has been taken, so far, on the issue of irregularities, Jakhar called upon the chief minister to assign the investigation to a legislative committee. "There is a high degree of apprehension among the people of Punjab that such huge misappropriation of money does have political patronage of the minister concerned," he said.