Denied Akali ticket, ex-minister says Majithia linked to drug mafia

Chandigarh, Nov 18 (IANS) Just two days after the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal denied him a ticket for the 2017 assembly elections, former Punjab minister Swaran Singh Phillaur on Friday claimed that Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia had links with the drug mafia.

Majithia was in reality running the SAD-BJP government in Punjab to “unleash a state-wide mafia rule”, alleged Phillaur, who left the SAD and joined the Congress on Friday.

Phillaur and his supporters were welcomed into the Punjab Congress by party President Amarinder Singh here.

Majithia is a brother-in-law of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal. Majithia’s sister, Sukhbir’s wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal, is the Food Processing Minister in the Union Cabinet.

The opposition Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party in the past have alleged Majithia’s links to the drug mafia, a charge denied by him and the SAD.

“I and my son were framed in the Bhola drugs seizure case. All the accused had named Majithia as the kingpin. We were not asked, else we too would have named Majithia,” Phillaur told the media after joining the Congress.

Phillaur, the then Cabinet Minister for Tourism, Culture and Jails, resigned from the Punjab government in May 2014 on moral grounds after his son’s name figured in the Rs 6,000-crore drugs racket busted by the Punjab Police.

Racket kingpin and former international wrestler Jagdish Bhola, a former police officer, allegedly named Majithia for his links with the drug mafia in Punjab.

“The Akali Dal government is trying to protect the minister (Majithia). He was not happy with my seniority and did not like the rise of a Dalit leader within the party. It has become a Sukhbir and Majithia Akali Dal,” Phillaur said.

Phillaur said he was ignored by the Akalis as he was a Dalit, and it was evident from the fact that SAD tickets were given to many leaders accused or convicted in criminal cases.

“Senior (Chief Minister Parkash Singh) Badal himself told me that Sukhbir is running the show and did not respect his seniority,” said Phillaur.

Claiming Majithia was behind the conspiracy to frame his son and him in the drugs case, Phillaur said though charge sheet in the case was filed, neither he nor his son had been named.

It clearly indicates a conspiracy against us, the former minister said.

Phillaur said he apprehended that the Akalis will again try to defame him and his son by either reviving the case or implicating them in a new case.