(Demands dismissal of Health minister Balbir Sidhu and CBI probe into the vaccine and Fateh kit scams)
Chandigarh, June 9 – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today announced it would hold a ‘dharna’ at the official residence of chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh here on June 15 to demand the immediate dismissal of Health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu besides institution of a CBI probe into the vaccine and Fateh kit scams.
The SAD will also demand that land being acquired in the State for national highways be done on the market rate along with award of displacement compensation to farmers. It said it would join farmers to protest against the ridiculously low compensation being offered to them for acquisition of their land for expressway projects in case the government did not amend this policy and offer compensation to farmers as per the policy of the erstwhile SAD-BJP government.
Disclosing this, party Spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal would lead the symbolic ‘dharna’ at the residence of the chief minister on June 15 and that it would be attended by the party’s senior leadership including core committee and PAC members, legislators, former legislators, constituency incharge, district presidents and youth office bearers.
The party Spokesman said the vaccine scam as well as Fateh kit scam had shaken the conscience of Punjabis who were shocked that an elected government and its members were profiting from their misery during a time of pandemic. “Though the Congress government has admitted its fault in the vaccine scam whereby it sold vaccines to private hospitals at huge margins and in turn allowed the latter to charge steep premiums, no action has been taken against anyone. Instead of dismissing the Health minister, Capt Amarinder Singh is shielding him and even trying to silence the opposition by registering cases against senior Akali leaders for holding a peaceful and democratic protest to demand justice in the case”. He said the voice of the SAD could not be suppressed by such high handed tactics and that it would intensify its agitation further in case those guilty for the scam were not booked and punished.
Dr Cheema said SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal had also exposed the Fateh kit scam under which medical kits which were to be supplied to Covid patients were jacked up repeatedly from Rs 800 to Rs 1400 per kit by inviting one tender after another despite the fact the first tender was valid for a six month period. He said it was condemnable that even in this case the chief minister had refused to take any action despite the fact that it was conclusively proved that the tender was awarded at inflated rates to a company – Grandway which did not even have a medical license.