Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

CM still try­ing to save tainted min­is­ter, says AAP’s Khaira

- HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ter­schd@hin­dus­tan­times.com Corruption · Politics · Crime · Punjab · Amarinder Singh · Indian National Congress · Rahul Gandhi · Sukhpal Singh Khaira · Baldev Singh

CHANDI­GARH: Leader of op­po­si­tion in the Punjab as­sem­bly Sukh­pal Singh Khaira on Tues­day ac­cused chief min­is­ter Cap­tain Amarinder Singh of try­ing to save his “tainted” con­fi­dante, power and ir­ri­ga­tion min­is­ter Rana Gur­jit Singh, who has re­signed from the state cab­i­net.

Claim­ing that Rana Gur­jit was asked to “step down” by the Congress high com­mand, Khaira, who had led the charge against him in the sand mine row, said the min­is­ter had handed over his res­ig­na­tion on Jan­uary 4, but Amarinder be­trayed the peo­ple of the state by keep­ing it un­der wraps for 12 days.

“This is the CM’s last fee­ble at­tempt to save Rana Gur­jit who has been a fundraiser for him and the party. It is a dis­hon­ourable exit for the min­is­ter,” he said at a press con­fer­ence here, giv­ing credit to AAP’s cru­sade for the devel­op­ment.

Khaira said the Congress lead­er­ship

Rana gave res­ig­na­tion on Jan­uary 4, but Amarinder be­trayed the peo­ple by keep­ing it un­der wraps for 12 days. It is his last fee­ble at­tempt to save Rana, who is fundraiser for him and the Congress. SUKH­PAL SINGH KHAIRA

should drop Rana Gur­jit with­out any de­lay. “It is a test of newly elected Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi’s zero tol­er­ance to corruption. If Amarinder is able to save him, we will not sit quiet. We will come out with more ex­poses on him as this is just tip of the ice­berg,” he said. Khaira was ac­com­pa­nied by party MLAs Kan­war Sandhu, Pir­mal Singh Khalsa, Meet Hayer and Mas­ter Baldev Singh.

Asked about Rana Gur­jit’s state­ment dar­ing him to re­sign from his post on moral grounds as his name also al­legedly fig­ured in a drug case, Khaira dis­missed the de­mand. “Why should I re­spond to a tainted per­son who has been forced to quit due to his in­volve­ment in a scam? The facts are in my favour. I will come out with more in­for­ma­tion how Rana Gur­jit and his nephew con­spired to frame me,” he al­leged.

The AAP leader said had Amarinder dropped Rana Gur­jit when the sand min­ing con­tro­versy broke out, he would have be­come a hero and the ac­tion would have de­terred min­is­ters and bu­reau­crats from in­dulging in such ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The CM missed the bus by set­ting up a bo­gus com­mis­sion which gave a clean chit to the min­is­ter. We have re­jected the find­ings,” he said.

Khaira said he would ap­proach the high court to seek a CBI in­quiry into the min­is­ter’s al­legedly il­le­gal land ac­qui­si­tion in a vil­lage near Mul­lan­pur, con­flict of in­ter­est as a min­is­ter, among other charges.

 ?? HT PHOTO ?? Sukh­pal Singh Khaira (2L), leader of the op­po­si­tion in the Punjab Vid­han Sabha, with fel­low AAP MLAs (from left) Meet Hayer, Pir­mal Singh Khalsa and Baldev Singh, ad­dress­ing re­porters at his res­i­dence in Chandi­garh on Tues­day.
HT PHOTO Sukh­pal Singh Khaira (2L), leader of the op­po­si­tion in the Punjab Vid­han Sabha, with fel­low AAP MLAs (from left) Meet Hayer, Pir­mal Singh Khalsa and Baldev Singh, ad­dress­ing re­porters at his res­i­dence in Chandi­garh on Tues­day.

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