If the politically monitored and tampered e-auction of the sand and gravel mines in Punjab is any indication of the mindset of the present dispensation, lead by Capt. Amarinder Singh than people of Punjab should completely forget to expect any good thing to happen in the public interest, during their regime in Punjab.
Media has thoroughly exposed, beyond an iota of doubt the conflict of interest of a cabinet Minister, who also happens to be the richest politician of the State. The profundity of his business empire could be measured from the fact that even one of the cook of Rana Sugars, Amit Bahadur has emerged as successful bidder of one of the most expensive Sand and Gravel mines in the State. It is also pertinent to mention here that besides Amit Bahadur at least three more employees of Rana Sugars, the company owned by Punjab’s IPM (Minister for Irrigation & Power) Rana Gurjit Singh have got the mining contract in the allegedly tampered e-auction of 89 sand and gravel mining sites on May 19 and 20. If a cook of the Minister, a person with meager means could successfully bid for a Rs. 26-Crore quarry, do we still need to give any proof to prove the farcical pretence of the Minister in question, having no conflict of interest in the 'sand mafia' operation in Punjab.
Such a brazen and clearly made out example of conflict of interest warrants immediate sacking of the Minister; if the Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh is consciously committed and serious to give, cleaner and transparent Governance in Punjab, leaving aside his deep indulgence in extracurricular activities mostly focused on fun and the frolic.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence ( Ministry of Finance, Government of India ) and Income Tax Department is expected to take immediate suo moto notice of the proceeds of this murky and highly questionable and fraudulent e-auctioning of the sand and gravel mines in Punjab, allegedly tempered by the ‘highly placed’ vested interests. The prices of the sand and gravel in Punjab are already at the ‘rocket height’ and much beyond the realm of affordability of the common man. People were expecting some respite from the ‘Mafia Rule’ after the new government has been voted to power. But the way nuances are taking despicable shape in the ‘corridors of power’ it discerns much worst rule ahead.
*Writer is Former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha.