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Sukhbir Singh Badal detained during protest outside Amarinder Singh’s residence

·3 min read

The Punjab Police on Tuesday detained Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal during a protest against the Congress-led state government outside the chief minister's residence in Siswan.

"If a storm rises, Captain [Amarinder Singh] will not be able to stop it, even if he uses all his force," the Akali Dal president said before his arrest told reporters before being detained. "There is a scam in vaccination, there is a scam in 'Fateh Kit [a Covid-19 kit]', there is a scam in SC scholarship, farmers' land is being acquired..."

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According to Quint, Badal and his party members were protesting to demand the removal of health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu and demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged irregularities in the sale of vaccines and procurement of medical kits for COVID-19 patients.

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The police also used water cannons to disperse SAD and BSP leaders and workers when they were forcing their way to 'gherao' the chief minister's residence.

This was the first joint protest of the SAD and BSP, days after both the parties had stitched an alliance for the 2022 Punjab Assembly polls.

On 4 June, after facing flak from the Opposition for "diverting" COVID-19 vaccines to private hospitals, the Congress-ruled Punjab government asked private hospitals to return all stock meant for the 18-44 age group. The turnabout came after opposition parties €" Shiromani Akali Dal, Aam Aadmi Party, and Bharatiya Janata Party €" slammed the Congress government for "selling" to private hospitals doses meant to be administered free.

Badal had alleged that the Amarinder Singh government procured Covaxin at Rs 400 per dose, but sold it to private hospitals for Rs 1,060, which in turn charged people Rs 1,560 for each shot.

The protests held on Tuesday were also to demand demanded that land acquisition for national highways be done at market rates and displacement compensation be offered to the affected landowners, as per Hindustan Times.

AAP holds protest against post-matric scholarship 'scam'

This also came a day after Punjab's main opposition party AAP, on Monday, held a protest outside the official residence of the chief minister here over alleged misappropriation of post-matric scholarship funds.

Led by party MLA and leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema, several Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders and workers raised slogans against the Amarinder Singh-led government and demanded dismissal of cabinet minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot.

They also demanded the release of pending amounts under the post-matric scholarship for scheduled castes. Police personnel were deployed outside the residence of the chief minister and barricades were also put up.

After AAP leaders began their protest, police personnel detained them and took them in a bus to the nearest police station.

AAP leader Manwinder Singh Giaspura could not observe his hunger strike, as planned, outside the residence of the chief minister after he along with other workers were detained. They were later released by police.

With inputs from PTI

Also See: Punjab polls: SAD is open for alliance with anyone but BJP, Congress and AAP, says Sukhbir Singh Badal

SAD, BSP forge alliance in Punjab: What the tie-up means for the two parties as they fight for relevance in the state

In Amarinder Singh vs Navjot Sidhu, Punjab Congress loses out; central team scrambles to iron out differences

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