Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Tuesday alleged that the previous Congress government led by Capt Amarinder Singh allotted prime land of the Waqf Board to the two sons of gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari in state’s Ropar district. Mann’s fresh attack on Amarinder, who is now a BJP national executive member, comes a day after his government issued a notice of recovery to the former CM and then jails minister and Congress MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, asking them to explain why the fee to engage a lawyer to oppose transfer of Ansari from a state jail to Uttar Pradesh during the previous Congress regime be not recovered from them. The notice, issued by the department of jails, mentions the amount for recovery — and to be paid to the lawyer — as Rs 17.60 lakh.
Ansari was in the Ropar jail from January 2019 to April 2021 in an extortion case registered in Mohali, before the Supreme Court directed the Punjab government to hand over his custody to the Uttar Pradesh Police.
Mann, on Tuesday, took a dig at Amarinder for claiming that he never met Ansari. “Amarinder Singh has been repeatedly claiming that he did now know Ansari but it is surprising that besides ensuring a cozy stay for the gangster in a state jail, his government facilitated the gangster-politician in securing the prime land in Ropar,” Mann said.
Claiming that a piece of prime land of the Waqf Board was given to Ansari’s sons Abaas and Umar, Mann asked Amarinder to explain how it was done. “If Amarinder Singh wants, more proof will be furnished over his hobnobbing with Ansari,” Mann added.
Further training his guns at the former CM, Mann said that before feigning ignorance over the issue of Ansari, Amarinder Singh must enquire about him from his son Raninder Singh, who, he claimed, had had met the UP politician several times.
Mann claimed that Ansari was given “VVIP treatment” in the Ropar jail. He said that the legal fee charged to keep Ansari in Punjab jail “will surely be recovered from Amarinder Singh and Randhawa”.
The AAP leader said that the he has covered more distance in his 1.5 year tenure than A marinder did as CM in 9.5 years. Sating that he and Amarinder were both MPs at the same time, Mann said it is on record that the the former CM’s attendance in Lok Sabha was merely 6%, while his attendance was 90%.
The Punjab CM alleged that Amarinder always remained away from the people and did not bother about his duty towards them. He “failed” to perform his duty as an MLA, an MP and even as chief minister, Mann charged.