Chandigarh, May 21, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had failed in his constitutional duty to take action against Congress leaders indulging in liquor smuggling despite professing knowledge of the same and urged Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore to take due action in the matter besides directing the chief minister to make the names of these smugglers public.
Addressing a press conference here, senior party leader Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said as per media reports the chief minister had admitted during a meeting with Congress leaders including the Pradesh Congress chief that he had complete knowledge about participation of Congress leaders in liquor smuggling activities.
He said this fact was also corroborated by Congress minister Sukhjinder Randhawa who said he had asked the CM to take action against the black sheep.
Stating that no chief minister could betray the interests of his State, the Akali leader said Capt Amarinder Singh was duty bound to protect State resources and act against those looting its treasury.
“The chief minister should tell Punjabis why he has not taken action in the matter till now even though top Congress politicians have caused a loss of Rs 5,600 crore to the State exchequer in league with the liquor mafia in the last three years. The CM must tell what was stopping him from taking action in the case. He must also make it clear if he stalled action against the Congress ministers and legislators solely to save his government”, Dr Cheema added.
In another revelation, the SAD leader said now it had come to light that thousands of liters of ENA (Extra Neutral Alcohol) had been unlawfully released from distilleries owned by Congressmen and their close associates and was dispatched to illegal distilleries and bottling plants established by Congressmen as has been revealed in the case of Khanna, Rajpura and Ludhiana busts.
He demanded identification and action against distilleries engaging in this illegality besides audit of the ENA stock of all distilleries in Punjab. He also revealed that the distilleries had established eight bottling plants in the union territory and that this was also done to evade excise and facilitate smuggling.
“Only an inquiry by a sitting judge of the High court can probe this multi-thousand crore scam”, Dr Cheema said adding the State government was presently engaged in a cover up exercise which involved taking action against petty hirelings. Punjabis want the immediate arrest of the king-pin behind this scam and the CM, who also holds the Excise portfolio, should act immediately.
Speaking about the order passed by the Gurdaspur deputy commissioner directing teachers to monitor distilleries in the district which was subsequently withdrawn following a public outcry, Dr Cheema said this spoke volumes about the distrust of the administration in the Excise department. “It is also an admission of guilt that large scale smuggling of liquor is taking place from the distilleries”.
He condemned the government move to use teachers, who were engaged in a pious and noble profession, on duty of monitoring distilleries and demanded action against officials responsible for this lapse. The SAD leader also asked deputy commissioners not to pass such illogical and patently wrong orders adding earlier also the Muktsar deputy commissioner had asked religious places to announce home delivery of alcohol.