State Editions

Punjab leader of Opposition, Channi get into verbal slugfest

| | Chandigarh | in Chandigarh

A day after Punjab Cabinet Minister Charanjit Singh Channi dared the leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha Sukhpal Khaira to take oath at Darbar Sahib along with him on the issue illegal mining, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA on Tuesday accepted the same but with a rider.

 Bholath MLA Khaira on Tuesday said that he accepted Channi’s challenge but on a condition that he convince the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to come along and clarify why he took a false oath under ‘gutka sahib’ promising to eradicate drugs within four weeks of assuming power.

“I humbly accepts the challenge of Minister Charanjit Channi to accompany him to Darbar Sahib for oath on his allegations of illegal mining, provided his mentor and Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh too comes along for a similar oath,” said Khaira while reminding Channi that Capt Amarinder had held a gutka sahib close to his head in a public rally at Bathinda facing Takhat Damdama Sahib, promising to eradicate drugs within four weeks of assuming power.

Khaira said that he was doubtful that if his leader Capt Amarinder could testify in the court of God on false oath holding a gutka sahib, what is the guarantee that Minister Channi would not repeat a similar gimmick?

“It is an open secret that drugs are rampantly and abundantly available in every nook and corner of Punjab, even after one year of Congress coming to power,” he said and reminded Channi that Congress MLA Surjit Singh Dhiman is on record at a function in Sunam recently stating that drugs are easily available in Punjab and that our government has failed to implement its poll promise.

Lambasting Channi for trying to deflect public attention from serious charges of illegal mining levelled against his family members, Khaira said that if Channi was so truthful why is he afraid of facing an inquiry by the Vigilance Bureau or a commission headed by a judge?

Khaira said that in fact, the Chief Minister should get a VB probe conducted into all six mining sites that he tweeted about from his helicopter. “I demanded this as Mandala mine owned by one Sunil Joshi has benami investment again by Rana Gurjeet Singh and Capt Jagbir Randhawa. Therefore, it is mandatory for the government to probe all six mines to find benami investments by more Congress leaders,” he said.

Khaira also reminded Channi that his erstwhile Ministerial colleague Rana Gurjeet Singh too had denied any links with the infamous mining scandal but had to put in his papers, after substantial material emerged from the findings of even a bogus investigation carried out by Justice JS Narnag.

He reiterated that he stood by his allegations and challenged Channi to face legal proceedings, rather than diverting attention from the main issue of illegal mining.




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