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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

Khaira questions Amarinder’s silence on Rana Gurjit’s men getting sand quarries

AAP leader claims income tax returns of Amit Bahadur, former employee of power minister, show his annual income as Rs 75,900 and asks how he managed to get Rs 26-crore sand quarry

punjab Updated: Jun 07, 2017 10:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira.
Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira. (Sikander Singh Chopra/HT Photo)

Challenging power and irrigation minister Rana Gurjit Singh to come clean on sand mining controversy, senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Saturday said the issue is a “litmus test of high morality” claimed by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

Addressing a press conference here, Khaira came out with copies of income tax returns (ITRs) of Amit Bahadur, a former employee of Rana Gurjit’s company, who has managed to bag a contract of a sand mining quarry.

“ITRs of Bahadur show that his annual income was Rs 75,900. On March 8, he got a salary of Rs 11,000, but astonishingly, this fellow submitted Rs 13 crore as upfront money for the sand mining quarry that he got for Rs 26 crores,” he said while adding that Bahadur had left Rana’s company only last month.

Khaira claimed that he has evidence to prove that the company to which Bahadur has now shifted is owned by Captain Randhawa, who is a right-hand man of Rana Gurjit.

He alleged that Randhawa manages Rana’s election campaign and has also worked as his election agent.

The AAP leader said the mining controversy has put a question mark on the high morality being claimed by Amarinder in his current tenure as CM.

“Amarinder has been repeatedly claiming that this is his last tenure as CM and he wants to make serious changes in the prevailing corrupt political and administrative system in Punjab. Unfortunately, he has not taken action against his cabinet colleagues for their blatant efforts to capture the sand mining business in the state,” he said.

Khaira said, “If Captain chooses to remain mum on the issue, it would be presumed that he is hand in glove with Rana, who has been funding election campaigns of Amarinder, including the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar.”

The AAP MLA said he has already lodged a complaint over the mining issue with the vigilance bureau and is going to file another with the income tax (I-T) department as well.

“It seems to be a huge scam of hawala money and illegal transactions. Bahadur is not the only employee of Rana who bagged mining contract through open auction. There are three other employees. It should be investigated from where they got huge money to be deposited as upfront amount,” he said.