The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today termed the acceptance of the resignation of Irrigation and Power minister Rana Gurjit Singh as too little too late and said the Congress could only wash the taint of the sand mining scam by registering a criminal case against Rana Gurjit and cancellation of all mines allotted to Congress legislators.In a statement here, former minister and SAD spokesman Dr Daljit Cheema said it was shocking that chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had turned a blind eye to the sand mining scam for ten months and had kept giving clean chits to the tainted minister. He said it was also shocking that the CM had taken a criminal matter to Rahul Gandhi for discussion. “Criminal matters like the sand mining scam should be dealt with on merit by the CM. How can government files be shared with Rahul Gandhi? Only party matters can be taken up with the Congress high command”.Dr Cheema said the government’s will to take action against the sand mining scam accused had become questionable after these developments. “If the chief minister has shown so much reluctance in accepting the resignation of a colleague against whom charges of influencing and getting sand mines allotted to his minions was proved beyond reasonable doubt, how could the people expect him to punish this minister as well as all other Congressmen who had acquired sand mines in a similar manner”, he asked.
Dr Cheema said it was strange that no FIR had been registered in the case till now even though the Congress party had admitted Rana’s guilt by sacking him. “Also no action is being taken against Congress legislators who ganged up to bid for eighteen sand mines collectively. This led to the sand mines being allotted to them through single bids. The law requires that there should be a minimum of three bids for auction of sand mines to take place. But no action has been taken against the Congress legislators till now and even their allocations have not been cancelled. They should be proceeded against immediately”.Stating that the State should not become a party to shielding the corrupt deeds of the sand mining scam culprits, the Akali leader said besides registering FIRs and making arrests where needed, the likely benaami and possible hawala transactions should be also investigated by giving the case to the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department. “It is a shame that the State has failed to trace the money trail of Rs 26 crore acquired by Rana Gurjit’s Nepalese cook Amit Bahadur till now. No investigation has also been done as to how a tainted contractor (Gurinder Singh), who is an accused in a Rs 1,000 crore Irrigation scam, funded Rs five crore for a sand mine auction bid made by a company of Rana’s associates. Similarly no investigation has been done on the single bids made by Congress mlas to acquire sand mines. Besides the ED and Income tax department the CBI should also involved to get to the bottom of this scam”, he added.