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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Disclose names of Akali leaders running sand mafia: AAP to Punjab CM Amarinder

Referring to revelations made by the CM in the assembly on Friday, Arora and leader of Opposition HS Phoolka also demanded action against “Akali leaders running sand mafia”.

punjab Updated: Jun 19, 2017 17:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.(HT File Photo)

Accusing the Congress MLAs of having a tacit understanding with the Akali-BJP members in the Punjab assembly, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP’s) Punjab co-president Aman Arora wrote to chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday demanding that the names of Akali leaders involved in illegal sand mining be made public.

Referring to revelations made by the CM in the assembly on Friday, Arora and leader of Opposition HS Phoolka also demanded action against “Akali leaders running sand mafia”. “But it seems the CM doesn’t want to share information with the assembly members,” said Phoolka.

“Your failure to punish the guilty will be enough to prove that the Congress and the SAD-BJP have a tacit understanding between them when it comes to serving their own interests at the cost of the state. Your government is undermining the democratic rights of the people which envisage a complete transparency from the elected government. A person who hides the illegal deeds of another is equally responsible as having committed that illegal act,” Arora’s letter to the CM reads.

Referring to reports that former revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia got an illegal contract worth hundreds of crores for cogeneration of power in cooperative sugar mills in Punjab, Phoolka questioned why the Congress government was shielding him?

The AAP also accused the Congress and Akali members of not allowing them to raise the burning issues, including farmer suicides, in the ongoing budget session of the House. “The Congress government knows that if we are allowed to raise these issues, it will be embarrassed,” Phoolka said.

The AAP had demanded an adjournment motion on the sand mining auction, accusing irrigation and power minister Rana Gurjit Singh of indulging in impropriety in the contracts. It was denied by speaker Rana KP Singh on the second day of the session. The speaker had then suspended the AAP MLAs for the day and Simarjeet Bains for the rest of the session for throwing a bundle of papers at the chair.

The SAD-BJP members had disrupted the proceedings of the House on the second and third day by storming into the well, demanding a debate on farm loan waiver. “It has never happened in the assembly that the question hour proceedings were disrupted by the members. The SAD-BJP members were simply wasting the time of the House in order to prevent us from speaking,” said Arora.

AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who wanted to raise the issue of sand mining, was suspended on the third day for the rest of the session, after he made a live video of the unruly scenes in the House and uploaded it on his Facebook page. He had subsequently accused the speaker of being a “puppet in the hands of the Congress”.

When asked how the party will raise the issues in the absence of Khaira and Bains, Phoolka said: “We will frame a strategy to counter both the ruling Congress and the Akali-BJP members. Our first-time MLAs would effectively raise their voice in the House,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Jun 18, 2017 20:49 IST

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