Drug probe

SAD ally BJP seeks Majithia’s ouster

CHANDIGARH: Shiromani Akali Dal’s alliance partner BJP today joined the Punjab Congress and the Aam Adami Party (AAP) in seeking Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia’s resignation to ensure a “free and fair probe” into his alleged involvement in the drug scam.

SAD ally BJP seeks Majithia’s ouster

Bikram Singh Majithia

laxmi@tribune.com

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21

Shiromani Akali Dal’s alliance partner BJP today joined the Punjab Congress and the Aam Adami Party (AAP) in seeking Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia’s resignation to ensure a “free and fair probe” into his alleged involvement in the drug scam.
Majithia was yesterday summoned by the Enforcement Directorate for questioning over his alleged involvement in the Rs 6,000 crore international synthetic drug racket.
The Congress and AAP also demanded a CBI inquiry into Majithia’s alleged links with those involved in the racket.
This is the second time that the BJP has sought resignation of an SAD leader. It had earlier urged Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to force SAD MLA and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Avinash Chander to quit over his alleged links with drug-peddlers. The SAD had then cold-shouldered its alliance.
State BJP president Kamal Sharma, while talking to The Tribune, today demanded Majithia’s ouster saying: “Even top leaders such as Advani had stepped down on moral grounds. Akali ministers Sarwan Singh Phillaur and Gulzar Singh Ranike, too, were made to put in their papers. Majithia should quit in the interest of a free and fair probe.”
“Our party feels it will be good for the image of the government to make the minister resign. However, it is the Chief Minister’s prerogative whether he wants to retain him in his Cabinet. We cannot force anyone,” said Sharma.
As Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa sought Majithia’s resignation, party’s Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh said ED’s summons to Majithia had only “vindicated my stand”.
Capt Amarinder Singh pointed out that he had been maintaining that the Punjab Police, which were primarily investigating the case, were “not the only ones to do so (holding inquiry), as other agencies such as the Revenue Intelligence and Enforcement Directorate were also involved in the investigations”.
Bajwa reminded Majithia that the then Minister for Jails Sarwan Singh Phillaur had resigned when his son’s name had surfaced in the same case.
“Majithia has now been summoned. He must resign and appear before the investigators to pave the way for a transparent investigation,” said Bajwa.
“The allegations against Majithia were of aiding, abetting and facilitating the multi-thousand crore drug racket for which the provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 would squarely apply.

Majithia should be prosecuted under the provisions of the Act. But both Central and state governments were treating Majithia with kid gloves,” he alleged.
Senior AAP leader and Supreme Court advocate HS Phoolka termed the ED action a “step taken in the right direction, but after immense public pressure”.
“Majithia should resign from the Punjab Cabinet and the inquiry be held outside Punjab, preferably in Delhi or Mumbai,
away from any kind of influence or interference of the Punjab Government. A parallel inquiry should also be conducted by the CBI. Finally, the BJP should not interfere in the investigation since they have been a ‘party to this cover-up’,” claimed Phoolka.

 

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