CHANDIGARH: Aam Aadmi Party leader Raghav Chadha on Saturday alleged that illegal sand mining is being carried out in Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi's constituency Chamkaur Sahib as he paid a surprise visit to a village there.
Terming it an "expose", the AAP leader also accused the ruling Congress in the state of "patronising" the sand mafia.
Chadha made the accusations after he visited Jindapur village in Chamkaur Sahib.
"Illegal sand mining in Charanjit Singh Channi constituency's constituency has been exposed. It is the biggest expose which will shake Punjab's politics," Chadha told reporters at the site.
"We are in Jindapur village, which is in the chief minister's constituency Chamkaur Sahib. Illegal sand mining is going on here openly. Sand is being illegally ferried in trucks," the AAP leader said.
Chadha said when Channi became the CM, he had declared that those connected to the sand mafia should not try to approach him.
"But here we can see this mafia is enjoying the patronage of the ruling outfit," he alleged.
He said as per their estimates, 800 to 1,000 trucks, called tippers, filled with sand were being taken out from the site.
"Right under the chief minister's nose and in his own constituency, this illegal activity is going on," he alleged.
"Channi's hoardings can be seen in the state that his government has checked various mafia. The truth is that in his own constituency illegal mining is going, so his claims are hollow. Another claim that people were getting sand at Rs 5 per cubic feet is also hollow," Chadha claimed.
He said AAP wants to know how many sites like this are in Punjab where this illegal activity is going on.
"Chief Minister Channi should give an answer," he said.
Chadha also alleged that a forest officer recently wrote to the local SHO and tehsildar, telling them about illegal mining in Jindapur village.
In the letter, the officer mentioned that the land comes under forest department and activities like mining cannot be conducted there, Chadha said referring to the site in Jindapur.
"He wrote the letter on November 22 and just a day he was transferred," said Chadha.
Later, in a tweet, Chadha wrote, "Mega expose by AAP on Congress' Channi government that can shake up the politics of Punjab. Mafia, scandals and loot in the chief minister's own constituency being exposed."(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)