Punjab: Tota Singh submits resignation to CM



Mohali: Punjab Agriculture Minister Tota Singh, recently convicted by a court for misusing official machinery, has submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

"Yes Tota Singh has sent his resignation to me...He should not have resigned...But he did it to set an example of morality," the Chief Minister told reporters here at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Punjab Olympic Bhawan.

"I was out of Punjab...So far no decision has been taken on his resignation," he said when asked whether the Agriculture Minister's resignation has been accepted or not.

In an embarrassment for the Punjab government, a local court had convicted Tota Singh on May five for misusing the official machinery and sentenced him to one year in jail.

Singh, who was charged with misusing the official car of the Punjab School Education Board, however, got some reprieve from the court when he was granted bail to enable him to approach a higher court to challenge the conviction.

The Minister, in his late seventies, however, got relief in another case when Additional District and Sessions judge Rajinder Aggarwal acquitted him of owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Besides registering a case against Singh for allegedly misusing his official position, Punjab Vigilance Bureau had also booked him for possessing property worth Rs ten crore, which was stated to be disproportionate to his known sources of income during the SAD-BJP regime from 1997-2002.

The cases were registered in 2002 Congress when the Congress was in power. Singh, who was then the Education Minister, was inducted as a Cabinet minister in the Parkash Singh Badal government in March this year.

He is the second minister in SAD-BJP coalition government in the state to be convicted and given a jail term after senior minister Bibi Jagir Kaur.

Jagir Kaur was sentenced to five years imprisonment by a CBI court in Patiala on March 30. Kaur was sentenced recently in connection with a case relating to the mysterious death of her daughter.

PTI