Claiming the three senior officials arrested for ‘extorting’ money from pesticide dealers in Bathinda were part of the pesticide scam unearthed months ago, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday demanded Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh’s resignation.
In a joint statement on Saturday, AAP spokesperson Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Kanwar Sandhu and Aman Arora accused the state government of shielding the real culprits in the case. “This extortion was being done at the behest of agriculture minister Tota Singh and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal. The agriculture department’s senior officials were mere ‘conduits’ for collecting money for their political purpose,” said Khaira.
Arora said the state government was deliberately delaying filing of a challan against former agriculture director Mangal Singh Sandhu in the Rs 33-crore scam. AAP leaders sought an inquiry by a sitting judge of the high court to probe the role of top officials and politicians in the scam.