Enforcement Directorate summons Punjab minister Majithia in Rs 6,000 crore drug case
In a major setback to the Shiromani Akali Dal-led Punjab government, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned state Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia to probe his alleged role in the Rs 6,000-crore international synthetic drug case.
Majithia is the younger brother of Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the wife of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
According to sources, Majithia has been asked to appear before the ED’s Jalandhar office at around 11am on December 26.
“The ED has prepared a 25-page questionnaire, which has around 50 questions. He will be asked to give personal and business details,” a source said.
Sources said the BJP-led government at the Centre had already given its nod to the agency to interrogate the state minister. The ED had said that it would not be able to put up a challan in the court till Majithia was questioned.
According to sources in the police, the statement of arrested drug racket accused has revealed the minister’s alleged links with the cartel.
Majithia is not the only senior politician being interrogated by the ED. Earlier, former minister Swaran Singh Phillaur, his son Damanveer Singh and Kartarpur MLA and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Avinash Chander were quizzed by the agency. Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary was also interrogated in the case.
While the names of Phillaur, Avinash Chander and Santokh Singh Chaudhary were found in the diary of arrested synthetic chemical supplier Chunni Lal Gaba, Majithia was named by synthetic drug kingpin Jagdish Singh Bhola last year.
Bhola and Gaba are in jail now. The police allegedly hesitated to take action against Majithia owing to his links with high-profile politicians in the state.
Sources also said the ED was planning to get additional security cover, fearing attacks by the minister’s supporters. Majithia, however, continues to enjoy the support of the Punjab government and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who claimed that “summoning does not mean that the person is a criminal”.
Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal said the allegations against Majithia are part of a conspiracy hatched by the political rivals who want to “tarnish the image of the SAD-led government”.
Former chief minister and Amritsar MP Captain Amarinder Singh said the ED probe against the minister had proved his stance.
“Handing the case over to the CBI as demanded by some people at a time when the Punjab Police and other agencies are already doing their job, would have only delayed and derailed the investigations,” Captain said.
Demanding Majithia’s resignation, the Congress on Sunday said that the Badal duo cannot run away from their promise of action against Majithia.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2882981/Enforcement-Directorate-summons-Punjab-minister-Majithia-Rs-6-000-crore-drug-case.html#ixzz3PuOR3leU
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