AAP leaders detained for violating prohibitory orders

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Chandigarh, May 30 (IANS) Several leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), including MLAs in Punjab, were detained by police here on Tuesday while marching towards the residence of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

The AAP leaders were demanding the sacking of Punjab Irrigation and Power Minister for his alleged links in a multi-crore mining scam in Punjab.

“The MLAs of AAP and Lok Insaaf Party were arrested at the Vidhan Sabha gate and prevented from meeting the Chief Minister while peacefully marching towards his residence to give a memorandum to remove Rana Gurjit from his cabinet,” AAP leader H.S. Phoolka told the media.

The detained AAP leaders were taken to the Sector 17 police station and released later.

The AAP protest was led by Phoolka, the leader of the opposition in the Punjab assembly, Sangrur MP and AAP Punjab President Bhagwant Mann, legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Punjab AAP Co-President Aman Arora.

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Punjab cabinet minister Rana Gurjit Singh is embroiled in a major controversy after the names of three employees of his private companies figured in a multi-crore mining scam.

One of the employees, Amit Bahadur from Nepal, a cook with the minister’s companies, picked up a sand mine contract in a recent auction for a whopping Rs 26.51 crore.

“There is an Emergency-like situation in Punjab and even the Leader of Opposition and elected representatives are not allowed to meet the CM. There is clear evidence that Rana Gurjit Singh is directly involved in sand mining but Captain Amarinder is shying away from taking action,” Phoolka said.

“The silence of Amrinder (makes us wonder) if along with Rana he himself has stakes in the contracts of sand mines,” Phoolka said, ading the AAP would continue the fight for Rana’s resignation to ensure an independent inquiry in the matter.

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Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday ordered a probe by a retired judge into the Rana Gurjit episode. The Shiromani Akali Dal, the BJP and the AAP rejected the probe as an eyewash.

AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira said the probe commission appointed by the Punjab government was of no use as the retired judge’s son had personal terms with Rana Gurjit Singh’s family.

“AAP sticks to its demand for the resignation of the minister who gave Rs 26 crore mining contract to his cook. The Income Tax returns of cook shows annual income of Rs 92,000. Then what was the source of the deposited Rs 13 crore? I fail to understand why Amarinder Singh is hesitant to take action against Rana Gurjit?” Khaira said.

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