Chandigarh, Aug 31 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday rejected Partap Singh Bajwa's contention that there was no comparison between the alleged scholarship scam and the bitumen scam, in which the Congress MP's name had figured 15 years ago.
The chief minister asserted, 'corruption is corruption, in any and every form'.
On Sunday, Rajya Sabha MP Bajwa had claimed that there was no comparison between the alleged multi-crore post-matric SC scholarship scam and the bitumen scam.
The bitumen scam allegations against Bajwa, then PWD minister in his cabinet in his previous term, were as serious as those being levelled now in the scholarship scam, the chief minister said in a statement here.
Singh said had he chosen to behave as irresponsibly then as Bajwa was expecting him to do now, he would have sacked the then minister all those years ago on the basis of unsubstantiated charges without a fair probe.
Bajwa had faced allegations as PWD (public works department) minister between 2002 and 2007, relating to irregularities in the purchase of bitumen worth crore of rupees.
He had also said that social justice minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot was charged by his department's own officer Additional Chief Secretary Kripa Shankar Saroj of being involved in the scam in an inquiry.
Singh said he had decided to assign a thorough investigation into the alleged scholarship scam to the chief secretary as there was clearly a dispute between the concerned minister and the Social Welfare Department's additional chief secretary, whose internal report had become the basis of the allegations against the minister.
The chief minister also slammed Rajya Sabha MP Shamsher Singh Dullo for supporting the demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged scam without waiting for the findings of the CS inquiry.
This lack of faith shown by both the MPs in their own party government showed their 'malafide intent', he said, lashing out at Bajwa and Dullo for their continued and persistent 'anti-party' actions.
A probe by Additional Chief Secretary Kripa Shankar Saroj into the post-matric scholarship scheme for Scheduled Caste students has discovered a Rs 55.71-crore scam.
Saroj submitted a report to the chief secretary in which he indicted Punjab minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and some officials for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 55 crore to the state exchequer in the distribution of scholarship amounts. PTI CHS VSD KJ KJ