In what could raise political temperatures in Punjab, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday asked former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to make public names of former ministers involved in “corrupt” practices or hand over evidences to investigating agencies so that the government can initiate action against them.
The statement came a day after Singh said he was ready to reveal the names and give other details of all those involved in such corrupt activities.
Captain Amarinder Singh was responding to the remarks of his former cabinet colleague and minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa who made a suggestion to chief minister Bhagwant Mann that he should seek details about the “corrupt” ministers and MLAs, including those involved in sand mining, in the previous Congress-led regime.
Given the statements from the two, Punjab AAP on Thursday jumped into the fray and sought details from the former CM.
“Chief minister Bhagwant Mann took immediate action in the matter of corruption by his own minister (Vijay Singla). Why didn’t Captain and Randhawa act on the evidence they had against their ministers?” said Punjab AAP spokesperson Malwinder Kang.
Kang said both state Congress president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring and former finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal had said there was rampant corruption in the departments they headed, but the previous governments did nothing about it.
“This is a very serious matter. In the interest of Punjab, they should hand over the evidence of corruption to the Punjab police. The administration will take swift and severe action against the corrupt,” Kang added.
Sources in the AAP government said that after having initiated action against their own ministers, the administration was now contemplating a crackdown on legislators and ministers against whom charges of corruption had come into the public domain.
“The government is particularly keen on digging up old illegal sand mining cases in which many bigwigs are supposed to have been involved. AAP has come to power on the plank of clean governance and alleged corrupt practices of the earlier regimes. So it’s time the government starts acting. It has started with Singla, and now former ministers and legislators will be on target,” said a government source.