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Have they been bought over: SAD on Congress leaders demanding inquiry into Punjab liquor scam

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Chandigarh, May 17, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to go after the big fish, including four Congress legislators, whose names had surfaced in bootlegging on a large scale and not indulge in a cover up exercise to befool the people by targeting SHOs instead of distillery owners and illegal bottlers who were responsible for the Rs 5,600 crore illicit liquor scam.

In a statement here, SAD senior leader Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said the chief minister had belatedly given directions to act against bootleggers following a backlash from Punjabis.

He said however instead of taking action against the Congress legislators of Ghanour, Rajpura, Khanna and Balachaur, an attempt was being made to put a lid on the twin Rs 2,000 crore illicit liquor scam and the Rs 3,600 crore excise loss caused to the State exchequer by taking action against low level officers.

“We will not allow this to happen. The problem is not with the SHOs and DSPs but with Congress MLAs who are responsible for their appointment. If action is taken against the MLAs everything will come out in the open.

We demand a high court monitored probe by sitting judged as well as a Vidhan Sabha Committee to look into running of illegal distilleries and sale points by Congress leaders”.

Prof Chandumajra said after identifying, booking and arresting all those who had bled the State dry the government should start recovery proceedings of Rs 5,600 crore from them and put the entire money back in the State treasury.

Stating that the Congress government was embroiled in corruption with the stench coming from the very top, Prof Chandumajra said Congressmen were not satisfied with looting the State treasury with government patronage.

“Now they have come in the forefront to demand that liquor contractors be compensated Rs 676 crore for the alleged lost suffered by them during lockdown. Even Congress leaders who were active on twitter and had demanded an inquiry into the loss suffered by the exchequer seem to have been bought over and now all of them are in favour of doling out money to the contractors.

The government’s decision to accede to this request is mind boggling considering the fact that liquor vends owned by Congressmen not only did home delivery of liquor during curfew but even sold liquor openly from vends as done by Balachaur mla Darshan Lal’s nephew in Ropar. If Congressmen have sold their entire stock of liquor in the black market why should they be compensated for perceived losses?”, he asked.

Speaking about the recent discovery of an illegal distillery cum bottling plant run by frontmen of Congress legislators Madan Lal Jalalpur and Hardyal Kamboj, the Akali leader said it was a shame that a criminal case had not been registered against the MLAs till now .”It is very disheartening that the chief minister is mouthing platitudes but is not proceeding against legislators who are not only looting the exchequer but also poisoning people from his home district by supplying spurious liquor to them.

If the CM continues with this policy to try to put a lid on the Rs 5,600 crore liquor scam by taking action against lowly officials then things will get worse in the coming days and Punjab will descend into a state of lawlessness”, Prof Chandumajra added.

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