Chandigarh, Jan 19: Opposition Congress leaders in Punjab Sunday began an indefinite hunger strike to press for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the multi-million-rupee drugs racket in the state.
State Congress president Pratap Singh Bajwa and other leaders sat on hunger strike at the Congress Bhawan here. Alleging that Punjab’s Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia was involved in the drugs racket, the protestors sought his dismissal from the government and his immediate arrest.
Majithia is the brother-in-law of Punjab deputy chief minister and ruling Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal.
The Punjab government has already refused to seek a CBI probe into the matter, saying the drugs racket was unearthed by the Punjab Police, who are investigating the matter.
Addressing party leaders, Bajwa said the Congress would intensify the agitation if their demand was not met.
“The Congress is using peaceful and democratic methods to shake the conscience of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who is shielding Majithia due to his close family relations. I had written a letter to the chief minister Jan 8 to take action against Majithia and two more ministers, suspected to be involved in the drug trafficking,” he said.
Bajwa said Jagdish Bhola, the main accused in the drug racket, was arrested by the Punjab Police and levelled serious allegations against Majithia. He said Akali leaders close to Majithia had been arrested in the drugs racket case.
However, the Akali Dal Sunday said the hunger strike by the Punjab Congress was a “sham”. Dal spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said the hunger strike was only a “photo opportunity” for Bajwa to keep himself in the news.
Cheema said the “Chakka Jam” (transport strike) call given by the Congress leaders last week had failed to get any response in the state.