Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday termed Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s comments on the alleged scholarship scam as “rantings of a frivolous politician who was in the habit of demanding a CBI probe into any and every case”.
Coming out strongly against the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader, he said instead of using her position as a minister in the Union Cabinet to further Punjab’s interests, Harsimrat Kaur spent all her time bending backwards to please her political masters in the NDA alliance at the cost of the welfare of the people of the state.
“Not only did her demand for the CBI investigation into the alleged scholarship scam expose her total lack of trust in the highly competent and professional police force and administration of the state, it was also against India’s legal and judicial principles, which empowered only the state government to seek a CBI probe where it deemed necessary,” Amarinder Singh said in a statement.
The Chief Minister said Harsimrat Kaur had no locus standi in the matter and was “merely trying to mislead the people of Punjab with her political stunts and motivated statements”.
Citing the CBI’s “poor track” record in handling major cases in Punjab, he noted that the central agency had failed to solve even a single of the four cases of targeted killings, including that of RSS leader, Brig Jagdish Kumar Gagneja (retd), that were handed over to them by the Akali regime.
Amarinder Singh also lashed out at Harsimrat Kaur for letting down the Sikh community in the sacrilege cases, by first transferring the cases to the central agency and then manipulating it to file closure reports without even making a pretense of solving them.
It is eventually left to Punjab Police to solve these cases, and the force is doing an excellent job of it, with even some senior police officials taken into custody for their involvement, he said.
Even now, the CBI was trying to scuttle the probe in the sacrilege cases, apparently at the behest of the BJP-led Central government, on whose diktats the agency seemed to be operating, he alleged.
“If Harsimrat is so keen to protect the interests of the people of Punjab, as she claims to be, why does she not leverage her position in the Central government to put pressure on the CBI to return the files to Punjab Police for taking forward the investigation in the sacrilege cases,” he asked.
Asserting that his government was committed to a thorough and fair probe into the alleged scholarship scam, and bring those found guilty, irrespective of their position, to book, the Chief Minister pointed out that even in the matter of the post-matric SC scholarship, neither Harsimrat Kaur nor her party tried to stop the Union government from withdrawing the scheme, thus depriving lakhs of SC students the right to higher education.
“Where was Harsimrat then? Why did she not comment then?” he asked.