MLAs` spat: Cong wants probe, BJP looks to damage-control

Congress today demanded an inquiry to probe the allegations of corruption levelled by the feuding MLAs.

Updated: May 07, 2010, 19:12 PM IST

Chandigarh: Questioning the "silence" of
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on the public spat between
two senior BJP lawmakers, the opposition Congress today
demanded that he order an inquiry to probe the allegations of
corruption levelled by the feuding MLAs.

An embarrassed BJP, which is a partner in the ruling
alliance in Punjab, today set up a two-member committee to
resolve the issue involving Laxmi Kanta Chawla, who has a
cabinet rank, and Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS) Jagdish
Raj Sahni.

"Two senior functionaries of the Akali-BJP alliance
government have been levelling serious allegations of
corruption against each other," Punjab Congress spokesman
Fateh Jang Singh Bajwa said here.

He questioned the "silence" of Badal on the "serious
verbal duel" between Chawla and Sahni in the past couple of

Demanding Badal`s intervention in the entire episode,
he said the Chief Minister must order an inquiry so that
people of the state "get to know the level of existing
corruption in Punjab."

While Sahni had sought a CBI probe into alleged
corruption in health department at the "behest" of Chawla, the
minister had retorted back saying that the CPS was levelling
"baseless" accusations due to recent action taken by her
department officials against Sahni`s relatives for running a
diagnostic centre.

"The Central leadership of the party is concerned at
the issue resolving around the two. No act of indiscipline
would be tolerated and the issue would be resolved within two
days," BJP`s Incharge for Punjab Balbir Punj said announcing
the setting up of the panel.

Punj said that party`s National Secretary Navjot
Sidhu and the state unit Chief Ashwani Sharma have been asked
to look into the spat and submit their report to the Central
leadership after which further action in the matter would be

Chawala and Sahni represent Amritsar and Batala
assembly constituencies respectively.