The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked Local Bodies minister Navjot Sidhu to tell Punjabis why he had not raised any protest against the allotment of 18 sand mines to Congress legislators and their kin through single bids even though he had taken action against four Superintending Engineers (SEs) for allotting civil works on the same grounds.In a statement here, SAD mps Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Balwinder Singh Bhundur while welcoming the suspension of the four SEs for allotting civil works on single bids in case they had committed any wrong doing, asked Navjot Sidhu to explain why he was not demanding and initiating action against Congress legislators who had secured 18 sand mines through single bids.
“Isn’t the law same for everyone? The law states that there should be a minimum of three bids for auction of sand mines to take place. Even the Rajasthan government cancelled its auction last year when it did not get a minimum of three bids for sand mines put on the block. How come this issue has escaped your (Navjot Sidhu’s) attention despite appearing prominently in the media? Have you deliberately chosen to ignore this blatant violation in auction of sand mines or are you shielding the culprits? Please tell Punjabis so that they may come to know about your real nature”, the mps told the Local Bodies minister.
The mps also asked Sidhu to explain whether his theatrics were limited to his political opponents and underlings only. “What else can explain your complete silence on this issue? You have conveniently forgotten to take up this issue in the cabinet. You have neither approached the CM to take action in this regard. Is it because the perpetrators of this scam are Congressmen? Have you so sold yourself out to the highest bidder that your famous voice of conscience has been completely silenced by greed?”Stating that there could not be two set of rules on the issue of single bids, the Akali mps said Sidhu should immediately demand action against all Congress legislators who had ganged up to bid for 18 sand mines collectively as well as the officers responsible for this criminal lapse. “This is also your duty as a self proclaimed public spirited person as the single bids have created a monopoly and resulted in a sharp increase in sand prices across the State”.
Mr Dhindsa and Mr Bhundur also asked Sidhu if he was keeping quiet because chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had justified the single bids by stating they had been accepted after ‘due deliberations’. “Punjabis would like to know what these deliberations were as the entire auction has proved to be a mega scam involving benaami transactions with a Nepalese cook and employees of Power minister Rana Gurjit bidding for sand mines worth Rs 50 crore.Asking Sidhu to earnestly examine and recommend action against those behind the 18 single mining bids, the Akali mps said if he failed to do so he would expose himself as a braggart who indulged in cheap and vulgar publicity only. “This is your moment of truth. Either rise to the occasion and help Punjabis by forcing action against Congress mlas or admit you are a willful failure and cannot clean up the system as you are sharing the spoils of power”.