AMRITSAR: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Amarinder Singh today rejected the Punjab state vigilance bureau’s clean chit to former Animal Husbandry Minister Gulzar Singh Ranike in his alleged involvement in the embezzlement of over Rs 2 crores meant for the poor and the dalits in the border areas.
Capt Amarinder was here in connection with the Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s visit scheduled for tomorrow. He went around the two venues where Gandhi is scheduled to meet the senior party workers, office bearers, MLAs and MPs.
The PCC President also questioned the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandik Committee’s role in setting up of the Operation Bluestar Memorial saying it will only fan sectarian and extremist passions and will in no way be a memorial to peace.
Talking to reporters Capt Amarinder said, the vigilance inquiry into the financial embezzlement by Ranike was just eyewash and was aimed at bailing him out from day one. He pointed out, it is a common sense as how could his personal assistant act without his knowledge and consent. He said, only the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) can and should probe the scandal since it involved central funds for the border developments.
To a question over the construction of the Operation Bluestar Memorial within the precincts of the Harmandir Sahib, the PCC President said, it was not required and it would rather inflame the hurt sentiments and open the old wounds. He said, if at all a memorial was required and constructed it should be in memory of all those who lost their lives during the dark period. He pointed out, 35,000 innocent people lost their lives during terrorism and why not a memorial for all of them and that too outside the Golden Temple complex.
Having a dig at the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Capt Amarinder remarked, he must have decided to construct the memorial after getting a telephone call from abroad, apparently referring to some pressure to which the Chief Minister might have succumbed for constructing the memorial.
Asked to comment on Bikram Majithia’s reaction to the Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s observations over Bluestar Memorial, the PCC President remarked in his characteristic witty style, “I don’t react to what children say or do”. He asked, what does Bikram know about Operation Bluestar as he might not have even been born at that time.