Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Saturday said that the status of gangster Goldy Brar, the mastermind of singer Sidhu Moose Wala's murder detained in the US, remains "top secret". "We are in touch with the FBI," Mr Mann said, speaking exclusively to NDTV.
"Very soon we will reach an understanding. It is a foreign country, we have to go by their laws... We can't give more details right now, it's top secret," added the AAP leader, in power for nine months now.
Authorities in the state are coordinating with international agencies to bring him to justice, he added, amid claims by the Opposition and sections of the media that Goldy Brar may not have been detained.
"Law and order is under control," Mr Mann said to another question.
"You have to understand that Punjab is a border state. From the [Pakistan] side, even drones are being used to send illegal things, such as weapons," he added.
In a dig at rivals, he said, "Speak about 'gangster culture' — that has not developed over the last seven-eight months. Those who are responsible for it now claim to be keeping a tab on how the law-and-order situation is."
The Chief Minister also countered rivals, particularly the BJP, on the "freebie culture".
He said money for subsidies could be generated by plugging leakages and ending corruption, and cited "an example" from AAP boss Arvind Kejriwal-led government in Delhi. "He showed how a bridge for which a budget of Rs 350 crore was okayed could be built in Rs 150 crore. That Rs 200 crore he saved could then be used for free medicines in Delhi," he claimed.
"The 300 free units (of electricity) are not 'revdi'. When we collect tax from the public, we are supposed to return it in some form," he argued.
#MannToNDTV | “'Free ki revdi'? Did we say Rs 15 lakhs would be deposited in each account? Who did this 'jumla'?“: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) at NDTV's '#SaddaPunjab' event pic.twitter.com/fp12YdXNtf— NDTV (@ndtv) December 17, 2022
"If PM Modi calls that 'free ki revdi' , then who sold the 'papad' of 'Rs 15 lakh in every Indian's bank account?" he added, referring to Narendra Modi's promise to bring back black money.