Punjab CM failed to act against liquor smuggling: Akali Dal

Chandigarh, May 21 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had failed in his constitutional duty to act against Congress leaders, indulging in liquor smuggling, despite professing knowledge in this regard, said the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), here on Thursday.

It also urged Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore to take due action besides directing the Chief Minister to make the names of smugglers public.

Addressing the media, SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema said as per media reports the Chief Minister had admitted at a meeting with Congress leaders, including the state party chief, that he had complete knowledge about participation of Congress leaders in liquor smuggling.

It was also corroborated by Sukhjinder Randhawa, a Minister, who said he had asked the Chief Minister to take action against the black sheep, Cheema added.

Stating that no Chief Minister could betray the interests of state, the Akali leader said Amarinder Singh was duty-bound to protect state resources and act against those looting the treasury.

“The Chief Minister should tell Punjabis why he has not taken action. Top Congress politicians have caused Rs 5,600 crore loss to the state exchequer in league with the liquor mafia in the last three years,” Cheema said.

He said thousands of liters of ENA (extra neutral alcohol) had been unlawfully released from distilleries owned by Congressmen and their associates and was despatched to illegal distilleries and bottling plants set up by Congressmen.

Speaking on the Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner’s order asking teachers to monitor distilleries in the district, Cheema said it spoke volumes about the distrust of the administration in the Excise Department. The order was withdrawn following a public outcry.

“It’s also an admission of guilt that a large-scale liquor smuggling is taking place from distilleries,” he said.



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