Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Chandigarh, May 24
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today said a year after the government started an ‘anti-corruption action line’, more than 300 corrupt former ministers, MLAs, top-level officers and department officials have been put behind the bars.
The arrested included a minister, an MLA and other leaders associated with the Aam Admi Party. Dr Vijay Singla, former health minister and MLA, was arrested in May 2022, on charges of corruption. MLA Amit Rattan Kotfatta was arrested in February this year in a case of accepting bribe of Rs 4 lakh. Surinder Kamboj, father of MLA Jagdeep ‘Goldy’ Kamboj, was arrested in April for allegedly trying to extort Rs 10 lakh from a property dealer in a complaint of rape.
Ex-Ministers on the list
- Dr Vijay Singla, former Health Minister and MLA
- Bharat Bhushan Ashu, former Minister of Food & Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs
- Sunder Sham Arora, former Minister for Industries and Commerce
- Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, former Minister for Social Welfare and Forests
The list also includes top leaders of the Congress, including former Minister of Food & Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Bharat Bhushan Ashu arrested for irregularities in the tender allotment; former Industries and Commerce Minister Sunder Sham Arora for offering bribe to a Vigilance officer; and former Minister for Social Welfare and Forests Sadhu Singh Dharamsot for allegedly taking kickbacks to issue permits to cut trees, transferring officials, making purchases and issuing no-objection certificates.
Former Congress MLAs Kushal Deep Dhillon and Joginder Pal Bhoa were also arrested on different charges.
CM said, “Our party spearheaded the anti-corruption campaign, so we will make Punjab free of corruption. I pledge that my government will further make strenuous efforts to provide clean, transparent and responsive governance to the people of state.”
He said, “Based on complaints received from people on the special WhatsApp number 9501200200, we were able to nail 300 corrupt officers/officials. No corrupt official will be spared.”
Among others who were picked by the police included PCS Narinder Singh Dhaliwal, former chairman of the Amritsar Improvement Trust Dinesh Bassi, IAS Sanjay Popli, Chief Forest Conservator Parveen Kumar, Forest Conservator Vishal Chohan, AIG Ashish Kapoor, IFS, Amit Chohan and DFO Guramanpreet Singh.
Sources said under scrutiny are former CM Charanjit Channi, former Deputy CM OP Soni, former ministers Brahm Mohindra, Vijay Inder Singla, Balbir Sidhu and Sangat Singh Giljian, MLA, Gurdaspur, Birindermeet Singh Pahra, former MLA Kuldeep Vaid, and Bharat Inder Chahal, former Adviser to ex-CM Capt Amarinder Singh.
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