Aam Admi Party’s new Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has taken corruption in the state head on and has not even spared his own cabinet colleague. Today (May 24) he sacked former state health minister Vijay Singla, and then also ordered his arrest.
Mann’s orders followed complaints of corruption against Singla. The former minister had, allegedly demanded a 1 percent commission from officials for contracts.
Singla was elected as an MLA from the Mansa constituency in the 2022 Punjab Legislative Assembly elections. The Punjab CMO said that concrete evidence was found against Singla. “It had come to my notice that one of my own cabinet ministers was asking for 1 percent commission in tender-related matters. I took the matter seriously. This matter came directly to me. The media has no clue about it, neither does the Opposition,” Mann said in a video address.
“If I wanted, I could have brushed the matter under the carpet. However, by doing so, I would have broken the hearts of crores of Punjabis who trusted me. I would have betrayed my party’s ideology and hence I am taking action. The minister is Dr Vijay Singla who was the health minister in my cabinet. When I confronted him and showed him the proof, he confessed to it as well,” Mann added.
Mann drew parallels to a similar move by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in 2015 when he sacked the then food supply minister. He further said that the police would be directed to take action against Singla in the matter.
Mann also said: “I want to tell those who are corrupt, those who are looting the poor, those who are looting the country, you can collect as much money, diamonds, jewels as you want. But remember, there are no pockets in a shroud. Everything will remain here.”