The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said now that Irrigation and Power minister Rana Gurjit Singh’s complicity in the sand mining scam in which sand mines were allotted to his minions had been proven beyond doubt by his resignation, a criminal case should be registered against him for causing loss to the State exchequer.In a statement here, senior SAD leader and MP Balwinder Singh Bhundur said the resignation had also proved that the entire process of allocation of sand mines was flawed. "All sand mines allocated to Congress legislators should be cancelled immediately. Action should also be taken against ministers who knew about this crime and kept quiet", he added.Mr Bhundur said it was also clear that the Congress high command had taken the precipitate step of asking for Rana Gurjit’s resignation after chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh failed to act in the matter. "Rana Gurjit cannot claim he is resigning on moral grounds. If that was so he should have resigned when his name surfaced in the sand mining scam in which his cook Amit Bahadur successfully bid for an Rs 26 crore sand mine".The Akali leader said it had also been established that the Justice (retd) JS Narang commission was formed to exonerate Rana Gurjit by giving it specific terms of reference. “It is clear that the Narang Commission has abysmally failed to do its job. It is now incumbent on the government to ask Justice (retd) Narang to refund the entire money spent from the State exchequer on the bogus inquiry done by him”.
Stating that the chain of events had proven that Rana had bid for sand mines through front companies and that these auctions were also financed by tainted contractor Gurinder Singh, Mr Bhundur it needed to be investigated why Gurinder, who was arrested in the Rs 1,000 crore irrigation department scam, had invested Rs five crore to fund the sand mines bagged by Rana’s associates.The Akali leader said this was not all. The Enforcement Directorate was already probing FERA violations as well as money laundering issues in relation with funds raised by the Rana family abroad by floating global depository receipts. “Now it needs to be investigated for what purpose these receipts were floated. The money trail and source of funds, including benami and hawala transactions involved in the sand mine auctions should also be verified”.Asserting that the SAD had been demanding Rana Gurjit’s resignation from day one and had even represented to the State Governor for the same, the MP said it was shameful that the Congress party had finally decided to sack him after his position became untenable due to repeated scandals.