SAD Wants Special Assembly Session Over Punjab Hooch Tragedy
The opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab on Tuesday sought a special Assembly session over the hooch tragedy that has claimed over 110 lives in the state so far. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh should tell the people of Punjab why he was not proceeding against "Congress legislators patronising the spurious liquor trade" that led to the hooch tragedy, SAD leader Prem Singh Chandumajra said. "The chief minister should call a special session of the Vidhan Sabha," he said in a statement issued here.
As many as 111 people have died after consuming spurious liquor in Tarn Taran, Amritsar and Gurdaspur's Batala. Two Congress MPs have even petitioned the Punjab governor for investigations by the CBI and the ED into the alleged illegal liquor trade in the state, Chandumajra said. "It was because of this trade that the state lost Excise revenue of Rs 5,600 crore and has now lost precious lives," he said. "Only an independent inquiry by a sitting judge of the high court can unmask the real culprits responsible for the hooch tragedy," the SAD leader added.
Holding the CM responsible for this tragedy, Chandumajra said Amarinder Singh was in-charge of both the Excise and Home portfolios. "If Punjab is caught in the vortex of the spurious liquor trade, it is because of the failure of the Excise and Police department to take the required measures. Not only have both departments failed to do their duty but they have become powerless in front of Congress ministers and legislators who are running the illegal liquor trade," he claimed.
Another SAD leader, Daljit Singh Cheema, condemned the government's alleged efforts to "divert" attention from the role of two distilleries associated with some Congress leaders by conducting raids on bootleggers manufacturing country liquor. It is shocking how the Congress government refuses to take any action against the two distilleries closest to the site of the hooch tragedy even after clear cut evidence that denatured spirit was behind the tragedy, he said. Cheema claimed that despite this, the distilleries have not been sealed yet and no attempt was being made to audit the Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA) in their possession.
(Image credits: PTI)