Congress seeks Akali leader’s dismissal after graft conviction

May 3rd, 2011 - 6:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Chandigarh, May 3 (IANS) Punjab’s opposition Congress Tuesday asked for the immediate dismissal of the state’s chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) Sohan Singh Thandal, a day after a court in Mohali town sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment for owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Thandal, a sitting Akali Dal legislator from Mahilpur assembly constituency and serving CPS in the government headed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, was Monday sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by the additional district and sessions judge, Mohali.

However, he was given bail by the court soon after the verdict. The court also gave him one month’s time to appeal against the decision in a higher court.

Senior Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira demanded that Thandal be dismissed immediately from the Badal government.

He also said that Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal must suspend Thandal from the primary membership of the party “to set an example to cleanse public life”.

Thandal was booked by the state vigilance bureau in January 2003 under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly accumulating assets disproportionate to his known sources of income during the Akali Dal government of 1997-2002.

A three-time legislator (1997, 2002 and 2007), Thandal is considered close to the chief minister.

The court also imposed a penalty of Rs.25,000 on him.

Khaira further added: “The senior and junior Badal must follow the parameters set by Congress president Sonia Gandhi while dealing with people indulging in corruption.

“As we are all aware, Suresh Kalmadi was suspended within hours of his arrest and registration of a graft case against him. Any delay in dealing with people convicted and charged with corruption will not be tolerated by our party and the people at large.”

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