Chandigarh, April 27: The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President, Mr. Mohinder Singh Kaypee, and the state Youth Congress chief, Mr. Ravneet Singh Bittu, have demanded resignation of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on the issue of misuse of scarce storage space available with the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation to store liquor instead of wheat which was rotting leading to the loss of crores of rupees.
They said Mr. Badal was personally responsible for this criminal misuse as he also handled the excise and taxation portfolio and involved in this case were the ruling party politicians whose proximity to him was too well known. It was not without reason that even after the scam broke out, he continued to look the other way. They said the silence of the government on such a sensitive issue was enigmatic.
These leaders said this incident had further added to the perception of the people in the state that it was a government of the Badals, for the Badals and by the Badals. As exemplified by this incident, instead of working for the interests of the farmers who were in crisis, the Badal government was interested only protecting the interests of its extended clan, including such protégés involved in the liquor storage scam. They said it was not just non-governance and mismanagement which characterized the Badal government. That this government would not care for the welfare of the people became evident the very first day this government took over when all the members of the Badal clan were inducted raising many an eyebrows. That this government was anti-people was getting reinforced almost every day, they added.
They said the people close to the Badals had monolpolised the liquor trade, sand mining and TV cable operations in Punjab, both directly and indirectly. If the government was active in any area, it was only to provide patronage and protection to the people involved in these monopolised operations. Now the nexus between the liquor mafia and the rulers had been exposed with the revelation of storage of liquor in the warehousing corporation godown which was supposed to store precious wheat. Rather than feeding the hungry, the Badal government was giving more preference to serving liquor. They said this government must go immediately as its anti-people face stands exposed.
The Congress leaders said all these weeks, the Shiromani Akali Dal President and the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, had been talking of campaigns to wean the youth away from intoxicants. However, the actions of the government were just the opposite. They said the hollowness of this so called campaign of the Shiromani Akali Dal had been totally exposed.
Meanwhile, PPCC General Secretary and media in charge, Mr. Parminder Singh, while welcoming the decision of the Supreme Court to revoke the expulsion of the former chief minister Capt. Amarinder Singh from the state Assembly, said it was a big victory for democracy and had vindication of the charge that the Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata party coalition in the state had been resorting to vendetta politics against the Congress. He said this had exposed the authoritarian and undemocratic character of this government which had been implicating the Congress leaders and workers ever since coming into power.