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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Majithia implicated my friend to deny ticket to father: Ex-Akali MLA in affidavit

Akalis vs Akalis: Panel probing political vendetta cases says matter beyond its jurisdiction as ED probing it; Majithia calls statement ‘reckless’ and panel ‘politically-motivated’

punjab Updated: Nov 07, 2017 11:37 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur
Sukhdeep Kaur
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Amarpal Singh Bony.
Amarpal Singh Bony.(HT File )

It is not just Congressmen who have filed petitions against Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders alleging political vendetta and misuse of the NDPS Act before a commission set up by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to probe false cases registered during the 10-year tenure of the previous SAD-BJP government. The panel, headed by Justice Mehtab Singh Gill (retd), has also received several complaints of “political vendetta” from Akalis against their own leaders.

The conspiracy angle
  • In the affidavit, Bonny Ajnala has claimed that Bittu Aulakh ran a hotel in Amritsar and his father Rattan Ajnala, as then Amritsar rural president of SAD, held party meetings at the hotel. He introduced Bittu to Majithia in 2005 and Bittu was his election agent in 2012 and also helped Majithia. “But, after the formation of Akali government again in 2012, the rift between Majithia and our family widened and Majithia asked Bittu to distance himself from us or face dire consequences,” it adds. Bonny contested from his father’s assembly seat, Ajnala, in 2012 after Rattan Ajnala was elected MP in 2009 polls. But in 2014, Rattan Ajnala was denied a ticket owing to Bittu’s arrest and sources close to him had claimed that it was done to ensure a berth for Harsimrat Badal in the union cabinet. Rattan, if elected, would have been senior as a three-time MP to Harsimrat, daughter-in-law of former CM Badal and Majithia’s sister. She won the Lok Sabha poll the second time in 2014. Harsimrat is now union food processing minister in the Narendra Modi government.

According to documents accessed by HT, former Ajnala MLA Amarpal Singh ‘Bonny’ Ajnala has submitted an affidavit dated June 13, 2017, attested by a notary, to the commission accusing former revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia of “falsely implicating” his friend Maninder Singh alias Bittu Aulakh in the Jagdish Bhola drug case.

Bhola, a suspended Punjab cop, is a former wrestler who was charged by Punjab Police as ‘kingpin’ of the multi-crore drug scandal.

“My friend Bittu Aulakh has no links with any drug smuggler and he has been falsely implicated to tarnish the image of our family and this was made the reason for denial of ticket to contest Lok Sabha elections in 2014 to my father (Rattan Singh Ajnala, former Khadoor Sahib MP from and three-time MLA),” reads the affidavit.

Justice Gill, when contacted, confirmed receiving the affidavit attached to a complaint sent by Aulakh from the Nabha jail through post. “The file number of the case is 1,213 but we have sent a report to the state home department that it is beyond our jurisdiction as the matter is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), a central agency,” he said.

The affidavit claims that Aulakh was arrested by the Amritsar police in the morning of November 14, 2013, from his residence at Rani Ka Bagh in Amritsar.

“I called up the then Amritsar commissioner of police who said he had instructions from Chandigarh to bring my friend to Patiala. I then called up then Patiala SSP Hardayal Singh Mann who said Bittu had to be questioned regarding his relationship with Jagjit Singh Chahal. It was a surprise for me when I heard the news on TV channels that Bittu was arrested from Rajpura with 2 kg of Pseudoephedrine (a key ingredient in synthetic drugs),” it adds.

The affidavit claims that Aulakh was arrested by the Amritsar police in the morning of November 14, 2013, from his residence at Rani Ka Bagh in Amritsar.

Chahal, an Amritsar-based businessman, is a co-accused in the Bhola case along with Aulakh and both are presently lodged in the Nabha jail.

Justice Gill says about 10% of 4,200 complaints received by the panel are “Akalis versus Akalis”.

“A majority are from Congressmen against Akalis. Over 20% are from the Aam Aadmi Party against the SAD. There are also some from Bahujan Samaj Party against SAD,” he said.

Majithia, when contacted, called the statement “reckless and amusing”. Questioning why the affidavit was filed by Bonny five years after Bittu’s arrest, he said, “The entire matter (Bhola case) has gone to the double-bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court. Many such affidavits have been filed before it. I was summond by the ED as a witness, not accused. The commission is politically-motivated and not above the HC. And you need to ask the police if they implicate people at my behest and former CM (Parkash Singh Badal) if tickets were given on my behest. Bonny was renominated from his seat in the 2017 elections. So, how can he claim vendetta,” Majithia said. Bonny did not respond to calls and messages from HT since Saturday.

First Published: Nov 07, 2017 11:03 IST