Alleging complete failure of the Punjab Government, collapse of the police machinery and involvement of senior ministers of the ruling Akali Dal-BJP alliance in the recent multi-crore drug racket, a delegation of the opposition Congress called on the Governor Shivraj Patil to seek imposition of the President's rule in the State.
The delegation was led by the president of the State unit of the Congress party, Partap Singh Bajwa, who said that keeping in view the magnitude of the Rs. 6,000 crore racket and its international ramifications, it was imperative that the matter was investigated through a neutral agency, where the present ruling dispensation could not exercise its influence. He said that rule of law needed to be restored before it was too late.
Mr Bajwa has also written to the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal to hand over the investigations in the case to the CBI, especially when the prime accused in the case, sportsman turned cop turned drug lord, Jagdish Singh Bhola had named a powerful minister, who was the brother-in-law of the Chief Minister's son, Sukhbir Singh Badal. The Junior Badal is also the Deputy Chief Minister and holds the home portfolio along side being the president of the ruling Akali Dal.
The PCC chief said that in case the Chief Minister did not hand over the probe to the CBI, the party would move the Punjab and Haryana High Court, while the Youth Congress and National Students' Union of India would organise state-wide protests from January 11 to 13. The party would organise a symbolic Punjab bandh on January 16, when its workers would block all roads for three hours at noon time. In case Mr Badal failed to act, the Congress would resort to blockading the Chief Minister on January 20.
Mr Bajwa said that in case the Chief Minister still did not dismiss the Revenue Minister, Bikram Singh Majithia and a case was not registered against him, the Congress leaders and workers would go on indefinite hunger strike on January 21. He also appealed to the BJP to explain to the people about its silence on the issue which concerned national interests.
On the other hand, the Punjab Police chief, Sumedh Singh Saini has claimed that Bhola, who was a hardened criminal was resorting to tactics to throw the investigations off track by making wild charges before the media. He rejected the demand for a CBI probe in the matter as the State police was working in tandem with the Narcotics Control Bureau, Border Security Force, Enforcement Directorate and the Intelligence Bureau. He hinted at some more startling revelations in the case, where the investigators had arrested at least 50 operatives in Bhola's nexus. He said that so far the recoveries in the case included 28.5 kg of heroin, 15 kg of synthetic drug- ICE along with a tonne of precursor chemicals used in its manufacture and 13 weapons.
On a previous occasion, when he was emerging out of the court after a hearing, Bhola told reporters that he had given details to the investigators about Mr Majithia's involvement in the racket, the minister's name was not included. He too has demanded a CBI probe into the matter. On his part, Mr Majithia has been quoted as saying that he was ready to face any investigation on the issue.