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Badal to hold dharna at residence of Sidhu to demand CBI probe into multi-crore vaccine scam

Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) – Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal will hold a ‘dharna’ at the residence of Health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu at Mohali on June 7 to demand his immediate dismissal as well as institution of a CBI inquiry to probe the multi-crore vaccine sale scam.

Disclosing this, a party release said the SAD President would lead the two hour long dharna which would be attended by the entire senior leadership of the party including legislators, former legislators and district Presidents.

Giving details, party spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said though the Congress government had admitted that it had wrongfully sold 80,000 out of the one lakh vaccine doses received by it from the centre to private hospitals at a hefty margin and also allowed the latter to charge a further premium on the doses, it had not taken any action against those responsible for this corrupt and inhuman act. “No action has been initiated against Health minister Balbir Sidhu who is directly responsible for diverting vaccine doses which should have been administered free of cost to people to private hospitals which started selling them at a cost of Rs 1560 to Rs 2,000 per dose. It is clear that like in other cases of corruption, this time also chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh is shielding a corrupt minister. The SAD will join the people in demanding justice in the case and kick off this campaign by holding a two hour dharna at the minister’s residence”.

The SAD release said it was shocking that the health minister was trying to feign ignorance of the entire issue and refusing to take responsibility for selling vaccine doses received for Rs 400 per dose to private hospitals for Rs 1060 per dose and allowing the latter to charge a further premium on them. It said families were forced to cough up between Rs 6,000 to Rs 9,000 for a single dose and would have had to pay double this amount in case the scam had not been exposed by SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Stating that the Congress government had played with the lives of the people, the SAD said the scam had also endangered the well being of the poor and under privileged sections of society. “Exemplary punishment should be awarded to all those responsible for this crime against humanity”, it said adding in case the Congress government did not forward the case for inquiry by the CBI, the SAD would get the scam probed by the CBI once it came to power in the State in 2022