Punjab health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu during the press conference at Punjab State Assembly in Chandigarh on Wednesday.(Keshav Singh/HT)
Punjab health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu during the press conference at Punjab State Assembly in Chandigarh on Wednesday.(Keshav Singh/HT)

Akalis seek probe into 200-crore missing de-addiction tablets scam

Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2020 10:14 PM IST

CHANDIGARH

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Wednesday demanded a thorough probe into the alleged 200-crore “missing de-addiction tablets” scandal and dismissal of health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu.

Raising the issue during the zero hour, Akali MLA Bikram Singh Majithia said the Enforcement Directorate had started looking into the diversion of 5 crore tablets of buprenorphine, a scheduled drug used for de-addiction, but the state government was doing nothing despite the principal secretary, health, having recommend a thorough probe into the matter. “The chief minister should make a statement in the House and sack the health minister,” he said, alleging a cover-up bid.

Sidhu hit back with the “chitta vyapari” charge amid slogan-shouting by the Akali legislators who entered the well of the House. He said neither the state government nor he had any role in the matter, but most of what he said was lost in the din. SAD members kept insisting on inquiry even as the speaker said they cannot press for a reply during zero hour. Then, they staged a symbolic walkout from the House. Majithia later said the diversion of such a huge number of buprenorphine tablets was a setback for the de-addiction campaign in the state.

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