Bhagwant Mann gives ultimatum to Charanjit Channi to come clean on allegations against his relative; 'arrest me', dares Cong leader : The Tribune India

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Bhagwant Mann gives ultimatum to Charanjit Channi to come clean on allegations against his relative; 'arrest me', dares Cong leader

There has been a war of words between the CM and his predecessor over the allegations of a relative of the latter seeking a bribe to provide job to a budding sportsperson

Bhagwant Mann gives ultimatum to Charanjit Channi to come clean on allegations against his relative; 'arrest me', dares Cong leader

Charanjit Channi.



Tribune News Service

Ruchika M Khanna

Chandigarh, May 25

There seems to be no end to the verbal duel between Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and his predecessor Charanjit Channi, over the allegations of a relative of the latter seeking a bribe of Rs 2 crore to provide job to a budding sportsperson.

The Congress leader trashed the claims and dared Mann to arrest him if he had any proof against him.

CM Mann on Thursday warned Channi, saying he was giving him time till 2 pm of May 31 to make public all information about “his nephew seeking bribe from a sportsperson” in lieu of a government job.

“If you don’t do it by May 31, 2 pm, I will release the photo and name of your nephew and the meeting place of the sportsperson with your nephew to Punjabis,” he said in a tweet.

The challenge to Channi comes in wake of the recent assertion made by him in Chamkaur Sahib, saying the allegations levelled against him were baseless. He had said on Tuesday that no relative of his had ever sought bribe to provide jobs. They wanted to book him in a frivolous case, Channi had alleged.

Mann had claimed at a public event at Dirba in Sangrur on Monday that during his visit to Dharamsala to watch a cricket match, a player came to him and said he had approached Channi for a job under the sports quota. “The cricketer was asked to meet Channi’s nephew, who demanded Rs 2 crore from the sportsperson,” he had alleged.

At a function in Chandigarh on Tuesday, Mann again levelled these allegations saying the cricketer would soon be brought before the public.

On Thursday, Channi reiterated that he had never asked anyone to meet his nephew and alleged that the ruling AAP was hellbent on putting him behind bars by hook or by crook.

“Every day, you (Mann) level allegations against me, indulge in a malicious campaign... If you want to arrest me, I am here,” Channi told reporters in Morinda.

Channi said the CM does not have to wait till May 31 and if he has any evidence, he should give it to the investigation agencies and get a case registered. 

He said thousands of people came to meet him when he was the chief minister and prior to that the technical education minister in the previous Congress government and there may be photos of him with a lot of people.

But that doesn’t mean that he asked anyone to meet his nephew to secure a government job as is being alleged, Channi said.

He also wondered if it behoves a chief minister to serve an ultimatum to his predecessor on Twitter.

Channi is facing a Vigilance Bureau probe in connection with a disproportionate assets matter and had last month alleged that Mann’s regime was indulging in vendetta politics.

Accusing Mann of targeting Punjab Congressmen to “divert public attention” from real issues, Channi said, “They are after Congress people in Punjab, but when action is taken against their leaders in Delhi, then they cry vendetta.”     

“You may register cases against me, put me behind bars for six months, one year, five years, but false allegations won’t stand,” he said.

Channi also said that the AAP has not been able to digest the fact that the Panjab University awarded him a PhD degree in political science last week.

The Congress leader said Mann has been touring different parts of the country with Delhi CM and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal “at the Punjab state exchequer’s expense”.

“He (Mann) should also tell Punjabis what is being achieved by touring the country at Punjab state exchequer’s expenses,” he said.

Channi claimed the AAP government is yet to deliver justice in sacrilege cases.

“It has been 14 months but things are not moving,” he said. (With PTI)

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