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Unearth corruption in Punjab: BJP state chief tells CEO

IANS | March 23, 2024 06:36 PM

CHANDEIGARH: With the Enforcement Directorate arresting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his alleged role in corruption through excise policy, Punjab BJP President Sunil Jakhar on Saturday requested the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to order a probe to unearth corruption in the state government.

The BJP delegation, led by Jakhar, submitted a memorandum to Chief Electoral Officer Sibin C and demanded an ED probe. Those present in the delegation included Union minister Som Prakash, former Union minister Vijay Sampla and former state presidents Ashwani Sharma and Manoranjan Kalia.

In the memorandum, Jakhar said: “The need of this probe assumes enhanced significance in the backdrop of recent developments with constitutional courts of the country not only refusing to bail applications of already arrested Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Cabinet minister Satyender Jain and AAP MP Sanjay Singh, but also registering strong observations against the Delhi Chief Minister while acknowledging prima facie establishment of kickbacks and money trail in the Delhi excise policy.”

“In Punjab, where the Bhagwant Mann-led government acted at the behest of its Delhi masters to allow official plunder of Punjab's resources and there is an apprehension that Punjab has lost at least Rs 1, 000 crore in revenue due to this favouritism and illegality perpetrated through Punjab excise policy.

“The fact that one such company whose proprietor is behind bars already for receiving illegal benefits under the Delhi excise policy was handpicked and awarded 40 per cent share in Punjab liquor trade after the inception of the AAP government in the state might just be the tip of the iceberg, ” he said.

“The probe will not only unearth corruption by AAP in Punjab but also would be a step to ensure an end to further eroding of Punjab's taxpayers' money at the hands of this regime, ” Jakhar said, adding officers of the Excise Department had been coerced to sign on the dotted line by the state AAP leadership at the behest of their Delhi masters.

Jakhar urged the Election Commission to also direct the ED to safeguard those officers and bring out the truth to ensure justice for the people of Punjab.

“Some of those officers have already faced questioning and the ED probe must take it to its logical conclusion, ” he added.

“It is also a genuine apprehension that black money so received by AAP through kickbacks will be put to use to influence voters during ensuing Lok Sabha Elections. Moreover, under patronage of the AAP leadership in Punjab, liquor barons already behind bars and gangsters in jails have been running the liquor mafia with impunity, ” the memorandum further read.

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