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Capt Amarinder still trying to save ‘tainted’ minister: AAP’s Sukhpal Khaira

Khaira, who had led the charge against Rana Gurjit in the sand mine row, said the minister had handed over his resignation on January 4, but Amarinder betrayed the people of the state by keeping it under wraps for 12 days.

punjab Updated: Jan 17, 2018 15:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Rana Gurjit,Sukhpal Singh Khaira,Leader of opposition
Sukhpal Singh Khaira (2L), leader of the opposition in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, with fellow AAP MLAs (from left) Meet Hayer, Pirmal Singh Khalsa and Baldev Singh, addressing reporters at his residence in Chandigarh on Tuesday. (HT Photo)

Leader of opposition in the Punjab assembly Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Tuesday accused chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh of trying to save his “tainted” confidante, power and irrigation minister Rana Gurjit Singh, who has resigned from the state cabinet.

Claiming that Rana Gurjit was asked to “step down” by the Congress high command, Khaira, who had led the charge against him in the sand mine row, said the minister had handed over his resignation on January 4, but Amarinder betrayed the people of the state by keeping it under wraps for 12 days. “This is the CM’s last feeble attempt to save Rana Gurjit who has been a fundraiser for him and the party. It is a dishonourable exit for the minister,” he said at a press conference here, giving credit to AAP’s crusade for the development.

Khaira said the Congress leadership should drop Rana Gurjit without any delay. “It is a test of newly elected Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s zero tolerance to corruption. If Amarinder is able to save him, we will not sit quiet. We will come out with more exposes on him as this is just tip of the iceberg,” he said. Khaira was accompanied by party MLAs Kanwar Sandhu, Pirmal Singh Khalsa, Meet Hayer and Master Baldev Singh.

Asked about Rana Gurjit’s statement daring him to resign from his post on moral grounds as his name also allegedly figured in a drug case, Khaira dismissed the demand. “Why should I respond to a tainted person who has been forced to quit due to his involvement in a scam? The facts are in my favour. I will come out with more information how Rana Gurjit and his nephew conspired to frame me,” he alleged.

The AAP leader said had Amarinder dropped Rana Gurjit when the sand mining controversy broke out, he would have become a hero and the action would have deterred ministers and bureaucrats from indulging in such activities. “The CM missed the bus by setting up a bogus commission which gave a clean chit to the minister. We have rejected the findings,” he said.

Khaira said he would approach the high court to seek a CBI inquiry into the minister’s allegedly illegal land acquisition in a village near Mullanpur, conflict of interest as a minister, etc.

First Published: Jan 17, 2018 15:23 IST