Highlights

  • AAP minister lands in trouble after audio clip surfaces
  • Minister, former aide purportedly discuss 'trapping' contractors for money in clip
  • Fauja Singh Sarari has denied the allegations

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The cabinet minister also questioned the authenticity of the audio and accused Kapoor of levelling false allegations against him

An audio clip of a conversation purportedly between Punjab minister Fauja Singh Sarari and one of his former close aides discussing ways to "trap" some contractors has surfaced on the internet, landing him in trouble.

While the minister for food processing and defence services welfare has categorically denied the charge, Opposition parties Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal on Monday sought his dismissal and arrest.

In the audio clip, Sarari and his former close aide Tarsem Lal Kapoor are purportedly heard discussing ways to get some contractors involved in food grain transportation "trapped" with the help of government officials so that money could be demanded from them.

The cabinet minister also questioned the authenticity of the audio and accused Kapoor of levelling false allegations against him.

Kapoor's nephew Johnny was booked and later arrested for misusing the national flag on his private car.

Sarari said Kapoor wanted his help in releasing Johnny, but the since he denied assistance, he was being framed.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties on Monday attacked the Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab and demanded Sarari's dismissal from the cabinet and arrest.

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"The AAP government has not even completed six months and its second minister has been caught indulging in corrupt practices. At this rate, in the next two years, we may see a dozen of their ministers landing in jail," Punjab Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring said.

Earlier, the Bhagwant Mann government dismissed the then health minister Vijay Kumar Singla and jailed him for allegedly demanding one per cent commission in tenders and purchases of his department.

"This time, the matter is already in public domain with the minister's audio clip. Let us see what action the government takes," Warring said.

Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia demanded a Central Bureau of Iinvestigation inquiry into the matter.

"The minister was caught discussing a plan to trap some officials and extort money from them. Now, it is up to the government to hand over the tape as well as the entire set of allegations against Sarari to the CBI so that they can be probed thoroughly," Majithia said.

He asked Mann why no action had been taken against Sarari.

Meanwhile, Sarari on Monday faced the ire of hundreds of farmers belonging to Bharti Kisan Union (Dakonda) as well as ex-servicemen when he arrived at a state-level programme to mark the 125th anniversary of the Battle of Saragarhi.

The protestors blocked his way and did not allow him to enter the memorial. The minister was then escorted from another gate to the venue.

While farmers were protesting against the minister over the audio clip, the ex-servicemen raised their voice against the scrapping of the 'Guardians of Governance' scheme, which was launched by the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government.

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