Punjab drugs haul: Revenue Minister linked to Rs 6,000 cr operation
Two of Punjab's Ministers, including the Revenue Minister likely to be questioned by ED for involvement in the multi-million dollar international drugs trade operation.
Two ministers, one of them a close relative of Shiromani Akali Dal president and Punjab's powerful Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, are facing heat due to their alleged involvement in the multi-million dollar international drugs trade operating from Punjab.
The recent interrogation of drug racket kingpin Jagdish Singh Bhola by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has linked Punjab Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia and Jail Minister Swaran Singh Phillaur to the drugs racket. Bhola told interrogators that Majithia and Phillaur's son, Damanvir Singh, had helped him in the synthetic drugs trade.
Though Majithia and Phillaur have blamed the controversy on political vendetta at the behest of the Congress, the fact that the ED, after the latest disclosures by Bhola, is likely to summon them for questioning has stirred up a new controversy in Punjab.
The ED questioning the two ministers is likely to become an embarrassment for the Parkash Singh Badal government.
Majithia's sister, Bathinda MP Harsimrat is married to Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal. Majithia is also the president of the Youth Akali Dal and is considered one of the most powerful in Punjab's ruling circuit.
In his written statement to the ED, Bhola, a dismissed Punjab Police deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and former international medal-winning wrestler, claimed that Majithia and Damanvir allegedly helped him procure synthetic chemicals and precursors from owners of pharmaceutical units in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.
Bhola, according to the Punjab Police, is the kingpin of the multi-crore racket run from Punjab and with links to several other countries. The Punjab Police, which busted the racket in the last six months, has so far made exposures of over Rs 6,000 crore.
Ever since the controversy over Majithia's name came up, the Punjab Police seem to have gone slow on its investigations. With the general elections round the corner, any more disclosures on this front would prove to be highly inconvenient for the Badal government.
In all this, the opposition Congress leaders seem to be having a good time gunning for Majithia and the Badal government. They are unlikely to give up on this controversy - at least not till the general elections are over.
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