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Amarinder is vindictive: Badal
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | July 01, 2003 22:26 IST
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday described Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh as the most vindictive person he has ever seen in his life.
Punjab Vigilance Bureau sleuths had on Saturday raided the residence of Badal, a former chief minister himself, in Chandigarh in connection with a disproportionate assets case registered against him and seven others, including his wife and son.
"He is after me because I denied him ticket from the Akali Dal seven years back. Just because he had social status he wanted a party ticket," Badal told rediff.com in New Delhi.
"Though he was a minister in my Cabinet, he never worked and attended to the problems of the people from his constituency," he said.
According to Badal, he and his son have filed cases against Captain Singh, and that is why he is being 'hounded'.
He said, "During the campaign (for the assembly election in Punjab) he had alleged that my family had amassed Rs3400 crore and we had 10,000 acres of land in the US. I will quit public life if someone can prove that I have even an inch of land anywhere in the world and Rs1 in a foreign bank.
"He has sent officers of the vigilance bureau to various countries in a bid to collect evidence against me and my family, but they have come back empty-handed. He is worried that he will be caught for making false allegations against me and my family... and would have to pay defamation charges to the tune of Rs10 crore. He cannot face this humiliation and hence is making all sorts of frivolous charges against us."
Badal alleged that those who have been raided have been told that they would be allowed to go scot-free if they name him in a case.
"He told Ravi Sidhu, former chairman of the Punjab Public Service
Commission, that if he named me then he would be allowed to allowed to go. Though Sidhu was not my appointee, he did not name me and hence he is facing charges of corruption. Likewise, they asked Narottam Singh Dhillon, a relative, to name me and he refused. Now he has been booked under various offences. He has been labelled an ISI agent, booked for forgery and possessing
counterfeit currency and what not. Even the names of the witnesses have been changed in some of the cases registered against my ministers and relatives," Badal said.
Badal said Balwant Singh, son of Sukhdev Singh, who was recently made a director in the Punjab Corporation, has been forced to say that he, his wife and son possess illegal wealth.
"During his speeches, Amarinder has been saying that my ninety per cent property is abroad and the remaining ten per cent in India. I am taxpayer and I have declared all the properties in my income tax returns. Most of the properties have been owned by us even before I became the chief minister of Punjab in 1997. My Chandigarh flat, which was raided, is not fully owned by me. I hold only one fourth of the share of the property," he added.
He said a committee of inquiry, and not a vigilance inquiry, should probe charges of corruption against ministers.
"The vigilance bureau is part of the government and they do what they are told by Captain Amarinder Singh. This is the first time in the history of the state that a former chief minister is being hounded like this. If he thinks that he can finish the Shiromani Akali Dal by hounding Badal and his ministers and relatives, then he is mistaken. I dare him to arrest me," he said.
Asked if he had taken up the matter with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his deputy Lal Kishenchand Advani, Badal said, "Yes, I have appraised them of the developments."
More reports from Punjab
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