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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Cong guns for mayor's head

Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times  Patiala, February 24, 2013
First Published: 21:17 IST(24/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:41 IST(25/2/2013)

With the police having failed to arrest Patiala mayor Jaspal Singh Pradhan in connection with the murder of his 'daughter-in-law' Parampreet Kaur, the Congress has unleashed all out efforts for his removal from the post.

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Leading the charge, Patiala member parliament and minister of state (MoS) for external affairs, Preneet Kaur, said, "The Congress wants nothing less than the arrest of Pradhan and his removal from post of mayor. We will not allow a criminal to head the city."

The union minister said that Congress would boycott the house, if Pradhan functioned as the mayor. "As the opposition, we have to protect the sanctity of the municipal corporation," she said.

The Congress has raised questions over not arresting the mayor and charged the police of going soft on him. Ironically, the police said that it would not arrest the mayor till his role in the case was not clear.

Kaur said the police was working under pressure and the Akali ministers were forcing the senior superintendent (SSP) to bail out Pradhan.

"If the police discharged Pradhan from the list of the accused by botching up the investigation, Congress will approach the high court for an inquiry by the central bureau of investigation (CBI) as there is sufficient evidence that the mayor had concealed his second marriage," said Kaur.

"We also have proof, where an Akali minister had called the SSP and asked him to protect Jaspal. We can produce it before the media," the Ccongress leader lashed out at the SAD.

Congress MLA from Patiala, Brahm Mohindra, said that a through investigation was needed. "We don't want such a probe that was carried out wit the intention to deliberately give a clean chit to the mayor. The government should ask Pradhan to step down, pending the investigation," he added.

On the other hand, defending the state government, rural development minister Surjit Singh Rakhra said, "There is no pressure on the police. The law will take its own course. We also want the truth to come forth."

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