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Every ruling party MLA in Punjab facing allegations of illegal mining: Sukhpal Khaira

In an emotionally charged speech, Khaira said Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh has failed to fight corruption and the drug menace in the state

punjab Updated: Mar 27, 2018 11:50 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
illegal mining,Punjab news,Sukhpal Khaira
Opposition AAP legislators protesting outside Punjab assembly during budget session in Chandigarh on Monday.(Keshav Singh/HT)

Leader of opposition in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Monday claimed that every MLA of the ruling party in Punjab faces allegations of illegal sand mining.

Khaira said this while speaking during the debate on the governor’s address on the fifth working day of the budget session of the assembly.

In an emotionally charged speech, Khaira said Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh has failed to fight corruption and the drug menace in the state. Despite reports and data given by the police the drug scenario in the Punjab is really bad, he said.

“Is this a good thing for the MLAs that their name is dragged in illegal things? Is this the new standard we are setting? Are we accountable for ourselves?” he questioned.

He said after the Punjab CM while flying in a chopper tweeted about illegal mining, black marketing of sand and gravel has started as the mining in legally auctioned mines has stopped.

Khaira praised Amarinder for his bold steps he took in his previous term as CM (2002-07), adding that he not the same this time.

The leader of opposition said while finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal was hopeful of taking the state out of a debt of Rs 2 lakh crore, but it is easier said than done.

Asking the politicians to be accountable, he said that the allegations of his role in drug trade be examined by the CBI. “If you don’t want to get others’ roles investigated, I don’t mind but if you feel I have any role in the drug trade I am willing to face investigation,” he said.

Manpreet, Channi praise Phoolka

In his address, former leader of the opposition HS Phoolka said that in his constituency Dakha his team for the past six months has been conducting trials for affordable smart-class equipment and each set costs Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000. He asked education minister Aruna Chaudhary to send a team or personally visit the classroom to replicate the same across the state.

Finance minister Manpreet Badal and technical education minister Charanjit Singh Channi praised the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader for taking up the state’s cause and not indulging in petty politics.

“He needs accolades that he has risen above petty politics and has suggested a solution to the government when he is in opposition,” said Manpreet. Channi said he will try to replicate the suggestion given by Phoolka in the technical institutions.

Govt cheating farmers: Majithia

In his address, former revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia said the Congress government has cheated the state peasantry. He said before coming to power, Capt Amarinder Singh had offered full debt waiver to all farmers in the state but waived just a fraction of the promise.

“Nearly 400 farmers have committed suicide since the Congress took over. It’s a serious matter. Breaking of the promise is causing more frustration among the farmers. A promise of debt waiver was made to the farm labourers also but there’s no mention of them in the debt relief policy,” he said.

He said the promise of ‘ghar ghar naukri’ (a job for every household) made by the Congress before the assembly polls has also fallen flat.

First Published: Mar 26, 2018 23:55 IST