This Article is From Jan 07, 2014

Punjab cabinet minister involved in drug trade, says alleged druglord

Jagdish Bhola at the Mohali Court

Chandigarh: A man arrested near Delhi in November for running a drug trade has alleged that Punjab's Revenue Minister, Bikram Singh Majithia, is involved in the multi-crore racket.

Jagdish Bhola, who was produced at a court in Mohali yesterday, alleged that the drug trade was being run under Mr Majithia's patronage with full knowledge of the state police.

"Bikram Singh Majithia is also involved. I am sure that's why I am naming him," Mr Bhola said. He also demanded that the case be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI for a fair probe.

Mr Majithia denied the allegations, saying, "Bhola is a known criminal... who is facing a possible life sentence, (and) has now made this wild allegation."

The opposition Congress has demanded Mr Majithia's arrest and alleged that the Akali Dal government is shielding him.

"Now that Bhola has publicly named Majithia for his involvement in the multi-crore drug racket, there is not an iota of doubt left that such large scale drug trafficking could have been possible without the patronage of powerful politicians like him," Punjab Congress Chief Partap Singh Bajwa said.

Mr Majithia is the brother-in-law of Punjab's Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who accused the Congress of giving Mr Bhola's arrest a "political angle."

"We arrested (Bhola). If we supported him, why would we arrest him? A lot of vested interests have come in to tarnish our government's image," Mr Badal said at a press conference.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a notice to the Punjab government on a plea in connection with the drug abuse and trafficking in the state.