Under fire ever since it emerged that a firm which bagged sand mine contracts in Nawanshahr had his former employee as a working partner, Punjab Power and Irrigation Minister Rana Gurjit Singh stepped down from his post Monday. He submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.
“Yes, I have resigned. Now, it is up to the Chief Minister and the party high command to take further action. In fact, I had resigned earlier also when my name was dragged into the sand mine auction controversy,” Rana Gurjit Singh told The Indian Express.
A series of reports in The Indian Express had highlighted the alleged links of Rana Gurjit with firms involved in the sand mine auction. This newspaper also reported that a contractor, sent to jail in December after a probe uncovered largescale irregularities in the irrigation department, had partly funded the successful sand mine auction bid of Rajbir Enterprises, the firm in which Rana Gurjit’s former employee Amit Bahadur was a working partner.
Sources said a decision on Rana Gurjit’s letter of resignation will be taken soon. The Chief Minister, sources said, will be meeting Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar, AICC secretaries Asha Kumari and Harish Choudhary on January 17. They will all meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi a day later, sources said.
After the sand mine auction row erupted last year, the Chief Minister ordered a Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice (retd) J S Narang. The commission gave Rana Gurjit Singh a clean chit. The minister maintained that he had no role to play in the sand mine auctions and the charges levelled against him by the Opposition smacked of “political vendetta”.