SAD demands sacking of Punjab minister over alleged seed scam

Chandigarh, Jun 8 (PTI) The opposition SAD on Monday asked Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to sack cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and order the registration of an FIR against him in the alleged seed scam.

“A case should be registered against Sukhjinder Randhawa for showing a fake bill to cover up the crimes of his close associate and spurious seed producer Lucky Dhillon,” alleged Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia here.

Majithia said Randhawa had shown a fake bill during a press conference last month to “cover up” the crimes of Dhillon.

The SAD has alleged that Dhillon is a close associate of Randhawa and was allegedly involved in supplying 'spurious' paddy seeds not approved for sale by the Punjab Agricultural University.

Stressing that a case was registered against Dhillon in Haryana too, Majithia said he had lost the moral right to remain in office.

However, the minister denied the charge and instead accused the Akalis of dragging his name into the controversy to “gain cheap political mileage”.

The Punjab Police has arrested three people including Dhillon for their role in the alleged scam.

Majithia further asked the chief minister to ascertain the losses incurred by farmers who used the spurious varieties of PR-128 and PR-129 paddy seeds in six lakh acres of land and compensate them adequately.

The SAD leader further said that the party had also informed Union Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar about the scam and sought an independent inquiry because the “scamsters” had distributed the spurious seeds in neighbouring states as well.

Meanwhile, BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh in a statement here said that the state government owed an explanation to the people as to how the scam took place and under whose patronage and support.

Amarinder Singh had last week said that the matter was being probed by the special investigation team headed by an Additional Director General of Police level officer along with a Joint Director of Agriculture department.

The Punjab Agricultural University had produced nearly 3,000 quintals of PR 128 and 129 varieties of paddy seed on a trial basis, whereas 30,000 quintals had been sold in the open market to farmers by unscrupulous dealers, the CM had then said. PTI CHS VSD RHL