Punjab: AAP government arrests ex-Congress minister in corruption case
The Punjab government's Vigilance Bureau (VB) has arrested senior Congress leader and former minister, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, in a corruption case on Tuesday morning. Dharamsot had served as the minister for the Forest and Social Welfare Department in the cabinet of former CM Captain Amarinder Singh. Kamaljeet Singh, a local journalist, who was allegedly working as Dharamsot's aide was also arrested in the case.
Why does this story matter?
- The arrests come a month after CM Bhagwant Mann had warned action against the Congress leader.
- The action also comes a week after the chief minister removed IPS officer Ishwar Singh from the Vigilance Bureau and posted another officer, ADGP Verinder Kumar, as the agency's Chief Director.
- The political go-ahead for the arrests was reportedly given on Monday night by Mann.
Bureau collected evidence against the ex-minister
A Vigilance Bureau official said both the ex-minister and his aide were arrested on corruption charges after the bureau had collected a lot of evidence against them. Last week, the bureau reportedly arrested divisional forest officer Gurnampreet Singh and another person Harminder Singh Hummi. They are reportedly said to have paid huge bribes to Dharamsot via Kamaljeet.
Dharamsot was also indicted in scholarship scam
Reportedly, Dharamsot was also indicted in a scholarship scam by IAS officer Kirpa Shankar Saroj during Captain Amarinder Singh's tenure. However, he was given a clean chit. Reports said there was evidence of his involvement in corruption in the forest and social welfare departments, too.
Mann is acting on basis of specific information: Sources
Notably, Kumar—newly appointed VB's Chief Director—had served as Punjab's intelligence head during ex-CM Singh's tenure. He reportedly had prepared a dossier of corruption by MLAs and ministers, but the Congress government didn't act. However, Mann is apparently acting on the basis of that information. Mann stressed when he can "ensure the arrest of his own cabinet minister, no one should be spared for corruption."