Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has said he will not oblige his coalition partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), or the Opposition Congress and seek the resignation of revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia following the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to the minister in the `6,000-crore drug racket case.
"A person cannot be held guilty till proven. Summons do not necessarily mean that he (Majithia) is guilty," the chief minister said when asked whether he would seek Majithia's resignation on the basis of the summons.
Punjab BJP president Kamal Sharma and the Congress have demanded Majithia quit the cabinet, with the Congress asking Badal to sack the minister if he does not resign.
Talking to mediapersons after attending a rally organised to mark the martyrdom day of Bhai Jeevan Singh (Bhai Jaita) here on Sunday, Badal said too much importance should not be attached to Majithia's summoning.
"In the recent past, the ED has also summoned former minister and Akali MLA Sarwan Singh Phillaur and Jalandhar Congress MP Chaudhary Santokh Singh," he added, pointing out that after questioning the two, the ED had expressed 'satisfaction'.
Badal, however, advised the revenue minister to appear before the ED. "I feel he should go and answer whatever they ask him," he said.
When asked if Majithia's case would have any effect on his government, the chief minister replied in the negative.
Majithia leaves venue
Meanwhile, Majithia was also present at the function and addressed the public rally but left the venue before the function ended. During Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal's speech, Majithia quietly left the stage, probably in a bid to avoid questions from the media.