Top Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia attacked Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and the Congress on Saturday, days after a huge amount of cash was recovered from his nephew’s premises during raids in the ED.
He also accused him of being involved in illegal sand mining in his constituency of Chamkaur Sahib in Rupnagar district and demanded a CBI investigation into the matter.
Meanwhile, Channi called Majithia’s allegations “baseless and frivolous” and challenged him to present even one piece of evidence pointing to his involvement in sand mining across Punjab.
”I have never denied my relationship with my nephew Bhupinder Singh Honey and being a parent he might be present at some of my functions. It’s not a crime if I get clicked with my relatives at my son’s wedding or other functions,’ the chief minister said while categorically denying any link to the money laundering case of Honey investigated by the Law Enforcement Branch.
Supporting Congress for filing a complaint with the Election Commission of India against recent ED raids, Majithia asked the ruling party that they should have instead questioned the recovery of crores of rupees at the premises of Channi’s nephew.
“Instead of complaining to the ECI about the misuse of central agencies, Congress should have explained how a huge sum of money was seized from the premises of Channi’s nephew,” Majithia told the media.
He asked why the Congress party had come to the defense of Honey, who allegedly ran the illegal mining racket.
Majithia sought to show Honey’s closeness to Channi through various purported photographs, and said the chief minister’s nephew was even assured of security.
Head of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) said that as the chief minister is also responsible for the departments of mines and environment, it was a case of conflict of interest and ”Channi had no moral right to continue to exercise his functions.
The ED had said on Wednesday it had seized cash worth more than Rs 10 crore, including around Rs 8 crore from a relative of Channi, in raids carried out as part of an anti-money laundering investigation. against illegal sand mining operations in the poll-bound state.
Majithia also called for an investigation into illegal sand mining in Channi’s home constituency, Chamkaur Sahib, including that on forest land, alleging that the chief minister had plundered the state treasury.
“Channi’s total loot during his 111 days in office will be over Rs 1,111 crore,” Majithia alleged.
The senior Akali leader also released alleged audio recordings to show that the chief minister and his nephew were partners in illegal sand mining.
He alleged that the village of Salapur Sarpanch Iqbal Singh and his son Binder were carrying out illegal sand mining activities at the behest of Channi.
The audio recordings were made by a Darshan Singh who had befriended members of the Sand Mafia to expose them, Majithia claimed.
In a statement, Channi lashed out at Majithia for the ‘slanderous and misleading’ campaign against him. Congress leader says Majithia is ‘dancing to the tunes’ of BJP government and trying to get revenge on him for booking him on drugs deal like former chief minister Amarinder Singh, who is ”in cahoots” with the SAD and the BJP, had ”covered up its sins”.
Channi said: ”Let me remind Majithia that he was investigated by the ED for his dealings with drug dealers and a drug kingpin named for harboring and facilitating the drug trade. Majithia’s photos were with them, does that mean he knew and harbored them?’ Calling the ED raids a ‘political vendetta’ ahead of the Punjab Assembly polls, the Chief Minister said, “The BJP is using central agencies to get revenge on me after Prime Minister Modi’s fiasco and the opposition is now playing politics on the issue in Punjab. CM for personal gain, it does not mean that he is associated with them.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)