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Punjab CM Directs Chief Secy to Probe Rs 56 Crore SC Scholarship Scam, Says Law Will Take Its Course

File photo of  Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

File photo of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

His statement comes amid the opposition's demand for Cabinet Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot's resignation over his alleged role in the case.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Saturday that he has asked the chief secretary to conduct a thorough probe into the alleged multi-crore post-matric SC scholarship scam. In a statement, he said anyone found guilty of complicity in the alleged scholarship scam would not be spared.

His statement comes amid the opposition’s demand for Cabinet Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot’s resignation over his alleged role in the case. “Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan will look into all aspects of the case, and anyone found involved, whatever his position within or outside the government, would be penalised and punished in accordance with the legal provisions,” the CM said. “Law will take its course,” he asserted.

Amarinder Singh said nobody could be put on the mat without a fair probe and proper inquiry, which Dharamsot also deserved. “There is rule of law, which needs to be followed,” he said, adding that he would not succumb to opposition trial in the case.

It was reported in a section of the media that a probe report into the post-matric SC scholarship scheme by the additional chief secretary discovered a Rs 55.71-crore scam. The report also questioned the role of Social Justice Minister Dharamsot in allegedly shielding those involved in the scam.

The CM lashed out at Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa for demanding resignation of Dharamsot. He ridiculed Bajwa for “trying to rake in political moolah” over the alleged Rs 55.71-crore scholarship scam.

He said that had he believed in following “jungle raj”, he would have sacked Bajwa back in 2002-2007 when the then PWD minister was under scanner in the bitumen scam and some other cases. The CM, however, said there was no question of protecting or shielding anyone, and action under the law would be taken if anyone found guilty of any involvement in the case.

He also hit out at the Aam Aadmi Party for behaving like a “rogue party by asking for Dharamsot’s resignation without a proper inquiry. “Are we living in a state of anarchy, with no rule of law?” he asked, reacting strongly to the “completely unwarranted” demand of AAP and Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) MLAs, who had created a din in the Vidhan Sabha over the issue on Friday.

“Do you really expect me to take action without a proper inquiry against my own minister when I have not done so even against many opposition leaders,” the CM said. Amarinder Singh said Dharamsot has already said that he is ready to face any inquiry in the matter.

Talking about Bajwa, the CM said the Rajya Sabha MP was behaving like an opposition leader whose only agenda was to attack the government on any and every issue. “Clearly, Bajwa has a hidden agenda,” he added.

first published:August 29, 2020, 21:50 IST