Punjab CM accepts power minister Rana Gurjit's resignation


A businessman-turned-politician's first-ever stint as a Minister ended in a short span on Thursday with the Congress National President Rahul Gandhi putting his stamp of approval on his departure from Punjab Cabinet while sending out a clear message on his intolerance towards corruption.

Punjab Power and Irrigation Minister Rana Gurjit Singh, accused by the opposition of illegally bagging sand mining contracts, has submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who is yet to act on it.

He alleged that Congress and Capt Amarinder Singh, in particular, have cheated the people of state on his promise of zero tolerance against corruption by allowing his corrupt minister to rob the hard earned money of tax payers.

Mr Mann asked Capt Amarinder Singh that he should clarify what is stopping him from accepting resignation of Rana Gurjit. "The party's interest should always be the priority", Rana told PTI after Amarinder said in Delhi that he had accepted the resignation of the power and irrigation minister.

The Chief Minister said he had discussed the issue of the resignation, which the minister had submitted 10 days ago, with Gandhi and then made a decision to accept the same.

Rana, whose family is associated with the sugar, power and distillery business in the state, said he would continue as legislator and work for the party.

Rana Gurjit had kicked up a controversy in May a year ago after his Nepalese cook Amit Bahadur won a sand mine bid worth Rs 26.51 crore at Saidpur Khurd village in Nawanshahar. Confirming such a meeting, a senior party leader said it had nothing to do with the proposed expansion of the council of ministers or reshuffle of portfolios.

The company floated by the minister in his cook's name is also under the scanner for borrowing Rs five crore from a contractor who is accused of a multi-crore scam in Gurjit's own department.

Rana Gurjit was caught up in a controversy related to sand mine auction in May. Rana Gurjit's son Inder Pratap Singh was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday in Jalandhar over allegations of raising Rs 100 crore overseas without taking permission from the Reserve Bank of India.



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