Chandigarh:Senior Akali leader and current Agriculture Minister Tota Singh will contest the 2017 Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections from Dharamkot constituency. He will face Sukhjit Singh Lohgar of Congress and Daljit Singh Sadarpura of Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Daramkot this time.
The veteran Akali leader Tota Singh remained in controversies like misuse of official machinery, job scam and pesticide scam apart from having disproportionate assets.
Born in Didar Singh Wala village in Moga district, Tota Singh was elected to the state Legislative Assembly in 1997 on SAD ticket from Moga seat.He was re-elected from Moga in 2002. In 2012, Tota Singh successfully contested from Dharamkot.
Tota Singh was Punjab’s Agriculture Minister when he was forced to quit in 2012. The minister was charged with misusing the official car of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) and forging the log book of the vehicle. He was forced to resign from the Badal government in May 2012 after a Mohali court convicted Tota Singh in a case of misuse of government official machinery.
Tota Singh, an education minister (1997-2002) in the Badal cabinet, was booked and arrested by the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB), in June 2002 on charges of forgery and having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
His name was figured in a scam regarding the recruitment of clerks in the education department. The VB has registered case in the scam pertaining to recruitment of 134 clerks by the PSEB.
Recently Tota Singh was alleged to be involved in the multi-crore pesticide scam that led to outbreak of whitefly on cotton crop in Malwa belt.The SAD, however, gave him a clean chit in the alleged pesticide purchase scam.