Jalandhar, March 8
Adding more fuel to the illegal mining issue, Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira on Thursday asked Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to make public the names of those running the illegal mining cartel in the state.
Addressing a press conference here, Khaira demanded that as the CM had highlighted the illegal sand mining issue on Twitter, he should also tweet about the follow-up action and name those behind the illegal mining cartel.
“How is it possible that only truck drivers and a handful of workers have looted the natural resources of the state worth Rs 10,000 crore and robbed the riverbeds of its precious minerals,” asked Khaira.
Slamming the “inaction” of the police officials who had registered cases and arrested only tipper drivers and some workers of the mining mafia, Khaira said it is unfortunate that despite the CM himself flagging the issue, the police could not expose those behind the sand mining.
Khaira also accused the Congress government of being hand-in-glove with their Akali counterparts in the “lucrative trade” whose profits ran into crores.
“It seems like a deal between the two parties as the Akalis just before the end of their tenure gave a clean chit to Amarinder Singh in the Ludhiana city centre and Amritsar Improvement Trust scams,” Khaira alleged, adding that the CM even applauded the role of former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for conceptualising the Jung-e-Azaadi memorial at Kartarpur, which is nothing but a white elephant.
He said that in a recent Vidhan Sabha session, the CM had accepted the fact that he had the complete list of MLAs behind the illegal mining cartel. He demanded the list to be made public and strict action against those behind ruining the state of its natural resources.
Khaira also demanded the constitution of a Vidhan Sabha committee consisting of all-party members to check illegal mining. He said the committee by conducting surprise checks would be able to expose those behind it.
Heritage monument scam runs into crores: Khaira
Terming the construction of heritage monuments by the SAD-BJP and Congress governments as a big scam running into crores, Khaira demanded a probe into the matter.
“The previous government constructed around 10 heritage memorials in the state amounting to Rs 10,000 crore and gave the entire contract to a single company, which has earned Rs 3 crore to Rs 4 crore from it,” Khaira alleged, adding that the monuments were nothing but white elephants.
He said the government is crying financial crunch and did not have money to pay salaries; the schools did not have furniture and children did not have books. “What is the need to have a white elephant like Jung-e-Azaadi at Kartarpur on which Rs 200 crore was spent,” Khaira wondered.