Jalandhar/NDTV: Punjab Minister Bikram Singh Majithia was today questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a multi-crore international synthetic drugs racket busted last year.
Mr Majithia, who is the younger brother of Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal who is married to of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal, faces allegations of having links with certain non-resident Indians (NRIs) who have been accused of international money laundering related to the drugs racket.
The 38-year-old arrived around 11 am at the regional office of the ED in Jalandhar, 150 km from state capital Chandigarh.
The ED, a wing under the union finance ministry, had sent summons to Mr Majithia – the revenue minister in the Parkash Singh Badal government in Punjab – to appear before it today.
The Punjab police had busted a Rs. 6,000-crore international synthetic drugs racket in the state in 2013. The ED conducted separate investigations in the case after serious allegations of money laundering emerged.
Sources in the ED said that Mr Majithia is likely to be asked over 50 questions by officials regarding his links to three NRIs and the money laundering racket associated with the drugs case.
The Opposition had sought the minister’s resignation after he was summoned by the ED.
The Chief Minister, however, ruled it out.
Mr Majithia’s name had surfaced after Jagdish Bhola, a man arrested near Delhi last year for drugs trade, alleged in court that it was being run under the minister’s patronage and the full knowledge of the state police. The summons to him is based on the statements of Bhola and Bittu Aulakh, a local politician from Ajnala, who was also arrested for links with drug smugglers.
After the controversy broke, he was divested of the NRI Affairs portfolio and had to relinquish the post of the president of Youth Wing of the Akali Dal. Mr Majithia had denied the allegations.