Punjab spurious Hooch tragedy which has so far claimed more than 100 lives in Amritsar, Batala and Gurdaspur districts has once again brought out the infighting in the Congress ranks to the fore.
The demand for a CBI and ED probe into the tragedy MPs Partap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo has invited the wrath of the state Congress President Sunil Jakhar. Two days after Jakhar sought strict action against party MPs Pratap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo, the entire Punjab Cabinet on Thursday also pitched in for the duo's expulsion for their "anti-party and anti-government activities", which they termed as "gross indiscipline".
Jakhar had said two days ago that he would write to party chief Sonia Gandhi to seek strict action against the duo.
Amidst the new row, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has announced that he will visit Tarn Taran tomorrow to meet families of the victims of the hooch tragedy.
Pubjab CM @capt_amarinder will visit Tarn Taran to meet families of victims of #HoochTragedy tomorrow morning. He will be accompanied by @INCPunjab chief @sunilkjakhar, @DGPPunjabPolice Dinkar Gupta & CPSCM Suresh Kumar.
— Raveen Thukral (@RT_MediaAdvPbCM) August 6, 2020
Raveen Thukral, Media Advisor to Punjab CM Amarinder Singh tweeted from his social media account of Singh's visit to Tarn Taran.
The Punjab Cabinet on Thursday pitched for the expulsion of both Bajwa and Dullo for their ‘anti-party and anti-government’ activities and called for immediate action against them by the party high command for attacking their own government over the hooch tragedy.
They also accused the two MPs of never raising Punjab’s issues in the Rajya Sabha like the ED probe into drug problems during the Akali regime or anti-farmer Ordinances of the Union Government.
The Cabinet alleged the duo of bypassing party and state government forums and directly taken up the matter with the Governor for CBI and ED inquiries into the case. The ministers said a CBI probe is prerogative of the state government not the two MPs.
Sunil Jakhar had hit out at the two MPs on August 4 for attacking their own party over the hooch tragedy. Replying to this, Bajwa had retorted that 117 lives were lost due to greed of some and failure of the government to act in time against the liquor mafia in the state, an issue that both him and Dullo had been raising time and again.
Bajwa had also accused Jakhar of being 'spineless' who did not have the courage to ask such questions to the government as Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president.
Bajwa had denied allegations of backstabbing the party as he said him and Dullo were left with the only constitutional means to communicate with the Chief Minister. He denied any agenda behind his demand for a CBI probe in the hooch tragedy.
Jakhar had said he would write to the party high command Sonia Gandhi to seek action against the two MPs who had crossed their limit and were exploiting a tragedy to further their own political ambitions and interests.
He added that the attack by the two MPs on their own government was a copy paste of how Sachin Pilot had attacked state government in Rajasthan over tragic deaths of 107 infants.