Amid rumours of former Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi considering a switch to the BJP, trouble seems to be in store for the Congress leader as he was summoned by the state Vigilance Bureau to appear on Wednesday in connection with a disproportionate asset case.
The Bureau has asked Channi to appear for investigation at its office on Wednesday.
According to sources in the Vigilance Department, a detailed dossier has been prepared by a team to question the former chief minister regarding assets owned by him. This would be the first time that Channi will appear before the bureau.
Last month, the Vigilance Bureau issued a lookout notice against Channi, fearing that he may attempt to fly out.
Channi was under ED scanner after his nephew Bhupinder Singh Honey was arrested in connection with an alleged corruption case last year, and approximately Rs 10 crores were seized from his possession. The ED has been scrutinizing Channi, his brothers, family members, and some aides for allegedly amassing wealth beyond their declared sources of income. The bureau suspects that the former chief minister had provided “undue favours” to certain contractors.
According to the ED team, Honey had accumulated money by assisting mining contractors and facilitating the transfer and posting of officials.
The former CM had denied the charges and alleged vendetta by central agencies.
However, the ongoing investigation into the DA case by the state agency could potentially cause trouble for him.
The summons from the Vigilance Bureau comes days after reports suggested that Channi may be considering switching to the BJP, although he has dismissed these reports as “fake news”.
Interestingly, despite PCC Chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring and state in-charge Harish Chaudhary calling on him a few days ago to seek his participation in campaigning for the Jalandhar by-polls, the former CM has yet to actively engage in the poll process.
A Congress leader said, “There is no doubt that he is not happy with how he has been treated by the party leadership. Although he may not switch parties, it remains to be seen how he involves himself in the campaign for the by-poll.”
The party is desperately trying to get Channi, a leader from the Scheduled Caste community, on board for the polls given the significant number of Dalit votes in the reserved constituency of Jalandhar.
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