Chandigarh: In its bid to end the growing
dissent within the party, the BJP on Sunday sought to downplay
the dropping of three cabinet rank ministers from the Prakash
Singh Badal ministry saying that they will play a key role in
the upcoming Assembly polls.
"The dropping of the cabinet ministers (Manoranjan Kalia,
Master Mohan Lal and Swarna Ram) has got nothing to do with
the CBI probe in a graft case allegedly involving Kalia and
Ram... It is a mere coincidence," Punjab BJP organisational
in-charge Shanta Kumar told reporters here.
"In fact, the exercise to replace some ministers in the
Punjab cabinet was due for a long time... We (BJP) got late in
doing the reshuffling of the ministers," he sought to clarify.
The replacement of Kalia and Swarna Ram has got nothing
to do with the graft case registered against former chief
parliamentary secretary Raj Khurana by the CBI, he said.
"The entire exercise (dropping of Kalia, Ram and Lal),
has been done for the benefit of the organisation. The step
has been taken to make the party active and alert in the
state," he claimed.
Kumar defended Laxmi Kanta Chawla and Satpal Gosain who
were inducted in the Badal ministry despite facing alleged
graft accusations, saying that the party central leadership
had gone into the entire details and found nothing against
"Those who were dropped (Kalia, Ram and Lal) will play a
key role in the scheduled polls of Punjab Assembly in February
next year," he said.
The BJP leader claimed that the CBI had carried out the
arrest in the alleged graft case on the behest of the
Congress-led UPA government.
Kumar parried most of the questions pertaining to
dropping of Kalia, Ram and Lal.