AAP for time-bound probe into multi-crore scam under watch of sitting High Court judge
Warns it would lay siege to CM’s Siswan farmhouse if minister not sacked from cabinet
Chandigarh, August 27, 2020: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab has taken a serious view of the alleged link of Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Minister for Social Justice, Empowerment and Minority Affairs, as the mastermind in yet another scam of Rs 63.91 crore in the Centre's post-matric scholarship scheme for teeming millions of Dalit students, has demanded immediate dismissal and arrest of the accused in a criminal case. The AAP also demanded a time-bound probe into the post-matric scholarship scheme scams so far under the watch of a sitting High Court judge.
In a statement issued from party headquarters on Thursday and through social media handles, Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema said that Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot should have been sacked from the cabinet and arrested by now on the basis of the investigation report submitted by the Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Secretary Punjab, adding the Amrinder Singh government was trying to save the Minister and the entire gang, who are openly usurping the scholarships of the deserving students belonging to the Dalit families.
Showing a 31-page investigation report, Harpal Singh Cheema said, "If the Amarinder Singh government was serious about fighting corruption and about the future of the deserving and needy students belonging to dalits families, a corrupt minister involved in a fresh multi-crore scam should have been behind the bars. The facts, documents, and irregularities and arbitrariness figured in the report are enough to take action against Dharamsot and his gang.”
Harpal Singh Cheema said that billions of rupees had already been squandered away in the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme since the time of the Badal regime, adding it was continuing unabated during the current regime.
The LoP added that, according to the investigation report, the accused Minister Dharamsot and other participating officers (especially Deputy Director Parminder Singh Gill) not only adopted the 'pick and choose' policy while allocating stipends for disbursement of Rs. 303 crore to the Punjab Government under this scheme in February-March this year, alleging a large sums of money were released to such colleges / institutions which did not even exist.
Cheema, quoting the investigation report, said that there was no record of the amount of Rs 39 crore issued in the name of Dalit students was not forthcoming. Another payment of Rs 24.91 crore was made to other educational institutions wherein vital links were missing, alleging split files were created for the scam and the clearance of the files were dealt with ‘by hand’ instead of following the prescribed procedures, fudging the notifications of the Principal Secretary and so on. The minister and the deputy director in the department allegedly flouted the rules and regulations for the release of funds by openly involving themselves in the multi-crore scam.
Cheema said that if despite all the evidences and documents on record, Minister Dharamsot was not immediately sacked and sent behind the bars, it would presumed the share of ‘booty’ went to the Siswan Farmhouse as well, saying that if the government failed take any action against the errant minister, AAP would ‘gherao’ the farmhouse till the time the guilty was not brought to justice