Chandigarh – Five-time Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patron Parkash Singh Badal on Monday said leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira should tender his resignation immediately on moral and ethical grounds even as he maintained that this had been his consistent stand on this issue. In a statement here, Badal said, “The fact of the matter is that I was the first person to ask for Sukhpal Khaira’s resignation on November 1, immediately after he was summoned as an accused in a cross-border drug racket case with Pakistani links by a Fazilka court.I voiced this demand to newsmen at the party head office here. This is a matter of record.” The former CM said he had demanded Khaira’s resignation in the latter’s own interest as well as those of the people of the state because it was the first time that a leader of Opposition in Punjab had been accused of abetting drug smuggling and anti-national activities and even termed as kingpin of such a racket. “I had even stated that available evidence indicated Khaira had a partnership with the accused who had been awarded maximum sentence of twenty years,” he said. Asserting that the situation had become even more serious following the initial summoning by the Fazilka court, the former CM said Khaira had filed a revision petition before the High Court demanding setting aside of the lower court order. “The High Court dismissed this petition and upheld the Fazilka court order summoning him as an accused. It also stated that details of calls between Khaira and the accused persons could not be taken lightly in the wake of drug smuggling across the Pakistan border. It also rejected Khaira’s claims that he was a victim of political vendetta by stating that it was not ready to accept submission that the action taken by prosecution was actuated with malice.
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