Capt needs to realise that moral battle is lost, if not legal one. Once again Punjab‘s Irrigation and Power Minister Rana Gurjit Singh is in the limelight; this time for tendering his resignation from Amarinder Singh’s council of ministers. Though Rana claims to have clean character, he states to have resigned for his name being dragged into the sand mining auction controversy, which had brought bad name not only for him but also for the Congress government. During the Vidhan Sabha elections, which took in early 2017, the whole campaign of the parties fighting against the SAD-BJP alliance primarily revolved around issues related to sand mining, transport business, drugs and cases of Sacrilege. Having failed to convince the masses about their involvement on any of these fronts, the ruling SAD-BJP alliance faced a shameful debacle as the public gave clear majority to the Amarinder-led Congress with a strong belief that the Patiala Royal’s government would wipe out the whole mess and set the house in order. However, faith was shaken within three months when media exposed the alleged involvement of Power Minister Rana Gurjit Singh in the first auction of sand mines during Amarinder’s rule. There were alleged links of him with firms successfully involved in sand mine auction. It was also said that a contractor, sent to jail in December after a probe uncovered large scale irregularities in the irrigation department, had partly funded the successful sand mine auction bid of Rajbir Enterprises, the firm in which Rana Gurjit’s former employee Amit Bahadur (largely addressed his cook) was a working partner. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the party in Opposition, questioned how Rana Gurjit’s cook Amit Bahadur, who earns Rs one lakh per year, successfully got a mine auctioned in his name after giving a whopping bidding amount of Rs 26 crore. The AAP, led by Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira (now leader of Opposition), went hammer and tongs at his old rival Rana Gurjit Singh, producing one after another document before the media to ensure that he doesn’t go scot-free. Finding media having sent a negative message among the voters, who had reposed faith in his clean governance, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh finally stood up to form a one-member commission to probe the illegalities and role of his Cabinet colleague in the infamous sand mining auction. The move, however, united the Opposition as the AAP and the SAD-BJP alliance both termed it a gesture to save Rana Gurjit Singh, challenging the credulity of Justice Narang Commission, dealing with the matter. After a few weeks, when the commission submitted his report to the chief minister, the anticipation of the Opposition came true as the chief minister himself informed media that the commission couldn’t find any illegality in the procedure. Though he avoided using the word clean chit, the CM’s answer to media queries was sufficient enough for all to take the inference, which was also endorsed by the remarks of the chief secretary, who was supposed to revert with his comments within two weeks of the submission of the report. Meanwhile, taking notice of a PIL related to the matter, Punjab and Haryana High Court in October last year also sought response from the Punjab government, PSPCL and Rana Gurjit Singh on a plea alleging conflict of interest in dealing with the affairs of the power distribution company.Though the minister out rightly rejected the allegations with a statement that the issue cropped up all due to political vendetta. However, it was another major shocker for already disturbed Rana Gurjit Singh when the Enforcement Directorate (ED) this month issued summons to his son Rana Inder Partap Singh for January 17 in connection with raising of funds abroad to the tune of S18 million (around Rs 100 crore) by floating foreign shares, or GDRs (Global Depository Receipts), for one of the family-owned companies, Rana Sugars Ltd, allegedly without the mandatory permission of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Inder Partap is the managing director of Rana Sugars, a Rana Group company founded in 1992 in collaboration with Punjab Agro Corporation, with its head office in Chandigarh. Now when media, on Tuesday, published that Rana Gurjit Singh has submitted his resignation, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh clarified that it was done in the first week of the month, but the decision on it had been kept pending. Rana’s resignation, apart from the bad name he earned for his alleged involvement in sand mining auction, also inferentially correlates with his son’s summoning by ED as the development took place on similar dates.Though there is no conclusive evidence yet of the Rana’s involvement in any illegality, public has now made up mind that Amarinder Singh put its best to save his Cabinet colleague. And why shouldn’t it happen, when the same public, without waiting for the legal evidence or court judgement, had punished the SAD-BJP alliance for the controversies related to drugs, sand mining, transport and the incidents of sacrilege which took place during its rule. Now after forming the government with a clear majority for voters having elected 77 Congress MLAs, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has repeatedly asserted there will be no politics of vendetta, which is be in welcomed by all but his gesture of putting all his weight behind someone having lost the battle on moral grounds is not being appreciated. The issue is also disturbing his party men, who have conveyed the public annoyance to him, not directly but through his all-powerful lieutenant, a bureaucrat who runs the СМО. With Rana Gurjit Singh having tendered his resignation, people not outside the Congress but also within the party now want Amarinder Singh to decide the matter with bold face and convey the same to his official boss-the AICC president Rahul Gandhi as not acting against visible irregularities is being seen more as a sign of weakness than principles. For him being well versed of political dynamics, he shouldn’t wait for the media to remind him that he must wouch for the moral high ground rather than keeping himself involved in the battle of words over suspected wrongs versus lack of evidence as the politics is all a game of perception and masses have largely perceived the minister morally incorrect in the whole episode, with legal aspect pending.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook