Punjab Lok Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh has claimed that during his tenure as the chief minister he had received specific inputs about CM Charanjit Singh Channi’s links with the sand mining mafia. His claims came days after the Enforcement Directorate raided multiple locations in Punjab, including the premises of the chief minister’s nephew, Bhupinder Singh Honey.
"From top to bottom, right up to the level of senior ministers, many people were involved, as I had told Sonia Gandhi while I was the chief minister (of Punjab). She asked me what action I was taking in the matter, and I told her I will have to start from the top," Singh said on Saturday in an interview to a TV channel.
The former Congress veteran, however, admitted he did not take any action against Channi and other ministers and MLAs involved since he had not got a go-ahead from Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
“The one and only mistake I made during my entire tenure was that I did not take any action then, out of my sense of loyalty to the Congress, since I did not get a go-ahead from Sonia Gandhi," he said.
The ED on Tuesday raided 12 places in Chandigarh and Mohali in connection with a probe against individuals and companies alleged to be involved in illegal sand mining. The agency said that the action was initiated after taking cognisance of the 2018 FIR of the Nawanshahr Police and some other such police complaints.
It later revealed that about Rs 10 crore cash has been seized during the raids, including about Rs 8 crore from the premises linked to Honey. It also claimed another about Rs 2 crore has been seized from the premises linked to a person identified as Sandeep Kumar.
Channi, however, argued that he was not even named in the 2018 FIR and termed the ED raids as a "conspiracy" to “trap” him ahead of the Assembly elections.
The Aam Admi Party had also raised similar allegations against Channi in December with its leaders claiming that illegal sand mining was being carried out in Chamkaur Sahib, the chief minister’s constituency.