Ousted as agriculture director after a pesticide bought by his department failed to contain rampaging whitefly, Mangal Singh Sandhu said on Sunday here that he took all his decisions with the approval of agriculture minister Tota Singh, which the latter now denied.
The minister feigned ignorance about any approval, saying the director was duty-bound to keep all procedures in place. “The chief minister deals with all operations directly,” he added. Accusing the Punjab government of making him a scapegoat to escape the blame after whitefly damaged a huge amount of cotton crop, Sandhu said the hiding of figures by deputy director for cotton SS Sidhu and agriculture commissioner BS Sidhu had led to his ouster. “Senior officials attached with the CM gave me and the agriculture department bad name,” he alleged.
He said his opponents in the department had set him up six months from his retirement. “I will sue them, expose everyone who has played foul and passed on wrong information to the Congress leaders, and ruined the government’s image,” he said. Pending an inquiry, Sandhu was removed from his post over the allegation that he had purchased pesticides worth `33 crore without following a proper procedure. He is from a village in Lambi constituency is close to Dyal Singh Kollianwali and he is knows to be close to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
‘I have evidence against Opposition’s informers’
“I have evidence that people sitting under the nose of the CM passed on vital information to the Opposition party,” he said in the comments seen as an attempt to dilute the report of the inquiry that has indicated he did not follow the set procedures in procuring pesticides. Sandhu had said he was ready to face any inquiry.