Badal dares Bhola to name cabinet ministers
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Badal dares Bhola to name cabinet ministers

Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has dared international drug lord Jagdish Singh Bhola to reveal the names of cabinet ministers allegedly involved in the drug racket.

chandigarh Updated: Dec 23, 2013 19:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has dared international drug lord Jagdish Singh Bhola to reveal the names of cabinet ministers allegedly involved in the drug racket.

"What stops Bhola from revealing these names during the ongoing investigation by the state police?" said Badal when asked about Bhola's accusation of the involvement of three cabinet ministers.

The CM was interacting with mediapersons on the sidelines of the inauguration of a museum dedicated to martyr Dr Diwan Singh Kalepani at Siswan in SAS Nagar district on Monday. The museum has been made by Mohinder Singh Kalepani to showcase the supreme sacrifice of his father, who was tortured to death by the Japanese in the cellular jail at Port Blair.

Bhola, after his appearance before the SAS Nagar court on December 19, had claimed that three cabinet ministers were involved in the drug racket and he was willing to reveal their names if the case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Bhola was arrested on November 11 in connection with various cases registered against him under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, the Arms Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

'Ball in other states' court'

About the ongoing fast of Sikh activist Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who has been demanding the release of six former militants who have completed their sentences, the CM said, "We are clear on the issue of parole sought by Sikh detainees lodged in jails across the country, who have already completed their jail sentence. The state government has already taken up the matter with the CMs of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat to grant parole to such detainees and hopefully the state governments concerned would accede to our request, as assured by them."

He said, "The UP chief minister (Akhilesh Yadav) has already forwarded the case of parole of a detainee lodged there to the governor for necessary action as he was the final authority to take a call on this issue."

Badal applauded the magnanimity shown by family members of former Punjab chief minister late Beant Singh on the issue of parole for the convicts sentenced to life imprisonment in the 1995 assassination case.

Special grant for museum

Addressing a public gathering after dedicating the Dr Diwan Singh Kalepani museum to the nation, the chief minister announced to earmark a budgetary provision of Rs 5.75 lakh in the annual budget of the cultural affairs department under a special scheme for the upkeep and maintenance of this memorial-cum-museum. He also accepted the family's demand to give a grant in-aid of Rs 28 lakh for the completion of ongoing work and carrying out extension work, as required.

Badal said the state government had already planned to set up monuments in memory of Baba Moti Ram Mehra at Fatehgarh Sahib, Bhai Jaitaji at Anandpur Sahib, Bhagwan Valmiki at Sri Ram Tirath (Amritsar) and Guru Ravi Dass at Khuralgarh (Hoshiarpur) under its flagship programme to preserve cultural heritage. He added, "We would be setting up a Rs 200-crore Jang-e-Azadi memorial at Kartarpur to showcase the immense contribution of Punjabis in the nation's freedom movement and a war memorial at Amritsar to eulogise the rare saga of Indian soldiers who made supreme sacrifices to defend our country's borders from foreign aggression."

First Published: Dec 23, 2013 19:35 IST