CHANDIGARH: Punjab Revenue and Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majithia was on Friday questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for four-and-half hours in connection with money laundering in the `6,000 crore drug racket case.
Majithia, who is younger brother of Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and brother-in-law of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal, faces allegations of having links with certain NRIs who have been accused of money laundering related to drug racket.
Sources said, Majithia had reached the ED office in Jalandhar, at the stipulated time of 11 am, where a criminal case has been launched under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Sources said he was asked some 100 questions by the ED sleuths. He was asked about his foreign visits, especially Canadian visit and with whom he had stayed there. He was also questioned whether he stayed with Canada-based drug dealers Satpreet Singh Satta and Parbinder Singh alias Pindi and how did Majithia had got acquainted with them.
He was also asked to submit his property returns for the last five years and also his bank accounts’ statements and that of his family members.
Emerging from the ED office after questioning the minister said, “I am cooperating with the ED for investigations so that the truth would come out. I was engaged in a three-day Assembly session and there was a three- day holiday too. I could have asked for and got an alternate date. However, I decided not only to receive the summons on phone, but also present myself before the agency at the first opportunity.”
“Earlier, also five Central agencies had investigated the matter during the erstwhile Congress-led UPA rule and found nothing. Now I want a closure of the media trial I am being subjected to on a daily basis for the past one year and this is why I am keen to answer any queries on this issue as quickly as possible.” However, he refused to answer questions on the BJP demand for his resignation on moral grounds.
Meanwhile, ABVP activists protested near the ED office. They raised slogans demanding Majithia’s resignation.
The Congress and other Opposition parties had sought Majithia’s resignation after he was summoned by the ED. Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa had sought Majithia’s resignation and reminded him that Jails Minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur had resigned when the name of his son had surfaced in the same case.