The Fact News Service
Chandigarh, May 25
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday condemned the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for frittering crores of rupees to advertise its alleged “corruption-free status” even though the State was steeped in corruption with even AAP ministers and legislators being accused of engaging in corrupt activities.
In a statement here, SAD Spokesman Arshdeep Singh Kler said before releasing full page advertisements across the country claiming Punjab had become corruption-free, chief minister Bhagwant Mann should tell Punjabis why no action had been taken against then cabinet ministers accused of indulging in corruption.
The SAD leader also urged State Governor Banwarilal Purohit to order a probe into all advertisements issued by the AAP government outside the State to take political advantage in States going to the polls soon. He said subsequent to the probe, the Aam Aadmi Party should be made to bear the expenses of all such advertisements, saying a majority of the Rs 750 crore advertising budget of the Punjab government was being used to spread the message of AAP across the country.
Arshdeep Kler said the chief minister had taken the lead in dismissing health minister Vijay Singla from the cabinet while announcing that the minister had admitted his corrupt deeds in a meeting with him. He said the chief minister however failed to lodge a formal complaint against Vijay Singla even though he had claimed that the minister had admitted his corrupt deeds during a personal meeting with him. “The very fact that the AAP government has failed to take action against Singla, who continues to find pride of place in official meetings, proves that it has no intention of proceeding against the corrupt ”.
Kler said the chief minister had also asked people to submit audio and video clippings to nab the corrupt, but had failed to take action against then forest minister Fauja Singh Sararie after a audio clip surfaced in which the minister was engaged in a conversation with a close aide to trap some contractors with the help of government officials to extort money from them. “This audio clipping was verified as genuine by Sarari’s aide but even then no action was taken against Sarari”.
The SAD leader said the chief minister was fond of cheap publicity gimmicks but never took concrete action to curb corruption. He said recently during a trip to Dharamshala to watch a cricket match the chief minister had claimed that a player from Punjab approached him and told him that former chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi had demanded Rs two crore for a government job from the player. “The chief minister has neither ordered a probe into the case, nor got an FIR registered to probe the allegation. This proves that such statements are made for cheap publicity only”. He also cited how the chief minister had earlier made misleading statements relating to the arrest of Sidhu Moosewala killer Goldy Brar in the United States and even announced that Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) would establish a unit in Punjab. “All these statements were timed for political benefit or to divert the attention of the people from pressing problems and forgotten immediately afterwards”, he added.