Chandigarh: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia on Thursday demanded institution of a CBI and an ED inquiry into Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Cheema’s allegation that the BJP had offered Rs 25 crore each to 10 AAP legislators to switch loyalty.
Majithia told the media here that this was also necessary because the AAP government had neither made the FIR registered in this case public even after 24 hours, nor taken any action against any BJP leader or middlemen involved.
“Punjab has never witnessed a bribery charge of this scale ever and since Punjab Police is not acting in the matter, the case should be handed over to central agencies.” He said a high court monitored probe could also be held on the issue.
Majithia also appealed to Union Home Minister Amit Shah to get the allegations that the latter’s name was used while trying to woo AAP legislators probed thoroughly.
“It is not a matter about any particular party but a challenge to democracy and its very foundations.” He said SAD on its part would also file a complaint with Chandigarh Police on Friday to demand a thorough probe into the entire case in keeping with the sentiments of people of the state and their right to know the truth.
The SAD leader also asserted that there were many loose ends in the entire bribery case. “Different leaders are giving different figures. If Cheema says 10 MLAs were approached, the Chief Minister has put the figure to six or seven, while minister Aman Arora has given a figure of 35.”
He said the AAP leadership had claimed that it had electronic evidence but the same was not being shared with the public.
Asserting that AAP may be in the process of enacting a drama at the expense of the state exchequer, Majithia said, “The government may very well hold a special session to seek a vote of confidence in the same manner in which it did in Delhi.”
He also questioned the credentials of the pivotal AAP figure behind the allegations — Sheetal Angural. He said the Finance Minister claimed that Angural had been attacked but there was no information about this in the public sphere.
“It is also being alleged that Angural had received death threats from the BJP. He showed a number of photographs of Angural with top BJP leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah, to prove that Angural had very cordial relations with the BJP.” He also disclosed that Angural’s testimony could not be believed as he had nine criminal cases registered against him, including those of abduction and kidnapping of a minor girl, attempt to murder, gambling and bootlegging.
Answering a question, Majithia said the Chief Minister had lowered the prestige of Punjab by lying about BMW establishing a car manufacturing plant in Punjab.
He also castigated the AAP government for being double standards on the Agnipath scheme. He said while Bhagwant Mann had opposed the scheme in the Vidhan Sabha, he was supporting it now.