The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today demanded a CBI inquiry into the procedural lapses which had allowed Congress leaders to take over the May 22 sand mining auctions in the State, saying the cancellation of the second phase of this exercise proved this beyond doubt.The SAD said the CBI inquiry should focus on procedural lapses as well as the key people, including finance minister Manpreet Badal and mining department officials, who were responsible for making the new policy and conduct of the May 21 auction.Senior SAD leader Prem Singh Chandumajra said it was clear that officials had turned a blind eye to proxy acquisition of sand mines by senior Congress leaders and ministers. "It needs to be ascertained as to who had instructed them to allow proxy bidding by cooks and employees of Irrigation and Power minister Rana Gurjit Singh as well as a single bid by 17 Congress legislators". Mr Chandumajra also termed the cancellation of the auction of the remaining 55 mines scheduled for tomorrow as a farce, saying if the government was interested in a free and fair exercise it should cancel the May 21 auction also.
He said it was only after the SAD had raised its voice against the illegalities committed in the first auction that the government was now insisting that the bidders submit proper documentation. "Why wasn't this done earlier? Isn't it clear that the earlier auction was rigged to help Congress leaders acquire the mines ? Why isn't the entire process being cancelled instead of one part only ?, he asked.The senior Akali leader said the SAD would take the issue to the people and force the government to cancel the auction forthwith. He also announced that SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal would participate in the dharnas being organised on May 12 against the mining scam in Ludhiana district.The MP said the party would also raise this issue in the Vidhan Sabha and demand the immediate sacking of Rana Gurjit. He said the party would also haul up the Congress government for increase in farmer suicides, giving sham relief to farmers on karja kurki (attachment of properties) and failing to curb the rise in incidents of sacrilege. "Never has a government lost complete faith of the people so soon after being installed", he said adding the injustice to farmers who were still waiting for complete loan waiver and oppression of Dalits would also be highlighted in the assembly.