Chandigarh, October 22, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab has demanded immediate dismissal of Food and Supplies Minister Punjab Bharat Bhushan Ashu, allegedly involved in the paddy procurement scam, demanding a time-bound High Court-monitored CBI probe into the scam.
In a statement issued from party headquarters in Chandigarh here on Thursday, senior party leader and Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema and Deputy Leader of Opposition Bibi Sarabjit Kaur Manuke said that the scam relating to the import of paddy from the states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar at half the price and selling it in Punjab ‘mandis’ at an exorbitant price, had sent shock waves across the state.
They alleged that only the District Manager of PUNSUP was not only involved in the dubious deal, but also the government procurement agencies, alleging the minister was involved in running the entire gamut of nexus under the protective patronage of chief minister Amarinder Singh and former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
Harpal Singh Cheema lamented that the scam came to light at a time when the farmers of Punjab were fighting a big battle for their own rights at stake. Firing a salvo at Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Cheema questioned why Punjab government, privy to the ongoings, was allowing an open exploitation of the hapless farmers of UP, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh at the hands of the middlemen who were making huge profits through the Punjab ‘mandis’.
Cheema and Bibi Manuke said that if the Cash Credit Limit (CCL) to Punjab state got abolished just by bringing paddy from other states, would the Punjab government guarantee MSP on the paddy procurement brought to the market by farmers of Punjab?
Cheema alleged that the government was way more concerned about the ‘mandi’ mafia running under the protective patronage of Bharat Bhushan Ashu than about the beleaguered farming community, as a sizeable chunk of the ‘proceeds’ made out in the black market reached the Chief Minister to Rahul Gandhi.
He added that if the CM offered protective cover to Bharat Bhushan Ashu as in the case of Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, allegedly involved in the multi-crore SC post matric scholarship scam, it would prove the point.
The AAP leaders said that when the existing marketing model in Punjab was being bulldozed by the Modi government through the black farm laws and, if the MSP was denied to the farmers on their crops, their plight would be worse than their counterparts in UP and Bihar.