Tribune News Service
Patiala, July 31
A senior Congress leader has approached PCC chief Navjot Sidhu to investigate alleged corrupt deals of Patiala Mayor Sanjeev Sharma Bittu — considered close to the CM family.
However, Bittu has denied the allegations as baseless and politically motivated.
In a letter to Sidhu, Punsup vice-chairman Krishan Chand Budhu has accused Bittu of shielding “illegal building mafia and colonisers”. “Already the morale of Congress workers in Patiala is low and many of them plan to quit the party due to massive corruption led by the Mayor. His assets need to be probed,” he wrote.
“We have high hopes from Sidhu as the CM’s inaccessibility has led to such a situation where a selective close coterie to New Moti Bagh Palace is running a parallel, but corrupt government,” he said. “I have served the Congress for over 50 years, just like my father. I will not quit the party but will continue to fight corruption. I have urged Sidhu to get to the bottom of the scandal, involving a few officers of the corporation, and remove the Mayor to prevent Congressmen exodus before the polls,” he told The Tribune.
He also showed resentment against party leaders for ignoring him as he was the senior-most municipal councillor of the city and was winning the local bodies election since 1992. “I am facing discrimination within the party. I still believe Capt will do justice, but the fact that we are not allowed to meet him means that only a handful of Patiala coterie inform him what suits them and hence the average Congressman suffers,” he said.
However, Bittu said the allegations were politically motivated as he was a contender for the ticket in 2022. “My rivals are trying to play dirty politics, without any proof. Funds allocated by the government through us are spent by the officers. There is no way I can be held responsible for it,” Bittu said, warning to file a defamation case against Budhu. All efforts to contact Sidhu proved futile.
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