Punjab Minister Rana Gurjit Singh resigns over sand mine row
Congress' Rana Gurjit Singh quit as Power and Irrigation Minister of Punjab and submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday. Rana Gurjit Singh had faced allegations of getting sand mine contracts worth crores in the name of his staff.
The Congress, which promised to end all kinds of the mafia in the state, found itself in a tight spot when Rana Gurjit Singh faced allegations of impropriety in the multi-crore sand mining, forcing Amarinder Singh to set up a one-man commission to probe the charges.
The inquiry had been handed over to 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".
Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) alleged that Rana Gurjit Singh had put up his cook Amit Bahadur who successfully bid Rs 26 crore for a sand mine besides three other employees who together made bids of Rs 50 crore.
Rana had put up the name of a son of a 'businessman friend' - Capt J S Randhawa and had claimed that Randhawa's companies put up the money for the bids and that his cook and employees were working partners only in these companies.