Punjab health minister Vijay Singla arrested after CM sacks him for corruption
Soon after Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann sacked him from the state cabinet on Tuesday, health minister Dr Vijay Singla was arrested on charges of corruption. In a video message shared on social media, Mann said he decided to sack Dr Singla after learning the minister was allegedly demanding 1% commission for tenders passed. The state health department floats tenders worth thousands of crores for buying medicines, equipment and other material.
The chief minister said that he had directed the police to register a case against Dr Singla after which he was arrested.
Mann said he had received a formal complaint that the minister was indulging in corruption. “I am taking strict action against him. I am removing him from the cabinet,” he said, adding when confronted, Dr Singla confessed to the wrongdoing.
“I could have brushed the complaint under the carpet since neither the media nor opposition parties were aware about it. But since the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party has adopted zero tolerance against corruption, I immediately sacked the minister,” he said.
Proud of you Bhagwant, tweets Kejriwal
Tweeting his appreciation for the decisive and prompt action, Kejriwal said: “Proud of you Bhagwant. Ur action has brought tears to my eyes. The whole nation today feels proud of AAP.”
Mann said that such an incident had happened only for the second time in the country.
“In 2015, Kejriwal had sacked his food and civil supplies minister after a video of his seeking bribe was shown to him. I want to tell everyone that I won’t tolerate corruption of even ₹1. We had taken an oath in martyr Bhagat Singh’s Khatkar Kalan village. We promised we would run a corruption-free government,” he said.
Hailing Mann’s decision, AAP Rajya Sabha member Raghav Chadha tweeted, “The Aam Aadmi Party is the only party that has the integrity, courage and uprightness to take action against their own on grounds of corruption. We saw it in Delhi, now we are witnessing it in Punjab. ZERO TOLERANCE FOR CORRUPTION. Commendable decision by CM @BhagwantMann.”
Dr Singla, a dentist, is the AAP MLA from Mansa. He had defeated the Congress candidate Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, popular as singer Sidhu Moosewala, by more than 99,000 votes.
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