Congress using CBI to malign political opponents: Akali Dal-BJP leaders

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday summoned two Ministers of Punjab, Manoranjan Kalia and Chaudhary Swarna Ram, for questioning on May 9, in the case of corruption in which Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS) and MLA Raj Kumar Khurana was arrested recently.

Meanwhile, the Special Court while taking up the case for hearing has extended the remand of the accused Mr. Khurana and Devinder Singh to CBI custody till Monday. While the duo was arrested on May 5 for accepting bribe to “sort out” discrepancies in a land deal, the CBI investigators claimed to have evidence of involvement of the Ministers.

Number three in the Punjab Cabinet, Mr. Kalia is the Minister for Industries, Local Bodies and Urban Development, while Swarna Ram is in charge of the portfolios of Technical Education, Industrial Training and Social Security. The two Ministers and Mr. Khurana owe their allegiance to the BJP.

Meanwhile, the top leadership of the ruling Akali Dal-BJP alliance threw its weight behind the arrested CPS, accusing the Congress of using the CBI to malign its opponents. Chief Secretary S.C. Agrawal has written to the CBI about the loopholes in the case of the investigating agency.

The letter said: “The basis of proceeding against Sh. Raj Khurana, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, is not clear from the verification report and attached transcripts…No note/file, as attributed in the transcripts and the verification report regarding a purported note from Sh. Swarna Ram, Minister, has been found in the offices of Sh. Raj Khurana, CPS, Sh. Swarna Ram, Minister, or Sh. Manoranjan Kalia, Minister.”