Controversial Punjab minister quits; resignation yet to be accepted
(6 months ago)
Chandigarh, Jan 16 : Following allegations of corruption and money laundering against him, Punjab's powerful cabinet minister Rana Gurjit Singh has submitted his resignation from the Congress government in the state. However, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is yet to accept the resignation, government sources said on Tuesday.
Sources in the Punjab Congress told IANS that Amarinder Singh is likely to meet Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday to discuss the resignation issue and expansion of his cabinet.
Rana Gurjit Singh, who is the Irrigation and Power Minister, has courted controversies in the past few months in the multi-crore sand mining auctions done in the 10-month-old Amarinder Singh government.
People associated with Gurjit Singh and his companies had bagged multi-crore rupee sand mining contracts in May last year. One of these people was a cook with Rana Gurjit earlier.
It was alleged that these people were just fronts for the minister and his companies and the sand mining contracts were picked up through benami means.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) were seeking the resignation of Rana Gurjit following the serious allegations of corruption against him.
AAP leader and Punjab's Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira said on Tuesday that Rana Gurjit's resignation was long overdue.
The Minister and his son were recently issued summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) following allegations of money laundering abroad.
The billionaire minister, who has business interests in liquor and sugar manufacturing, is considered close to Amarinder Singh. The Chief Minister had been defending him despite the corruption controversies around him.