Chandigarh: With the union human resource development ministry sending a team to probe the alleged embezzlement of central funds under Sarv Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) in Punjab, the opposition Congress today welcomed the move.
Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa welcomed the probe by the central government team “into the infamous books scam involving Education Minister Sikandar Singh Maluka”.
He said the books scam involved financial as well as moral corruption. The scam is regarding publication of books with central funds.
Bajwa alleged that orders for supply of books worth Rs.42 crore at exaggerated rates were given to a company which was manufacturing pipes.
He alleged that Maluka was “the architect of the scam and he owes moral responsibility to supply of books with vulgar and denigrating comments against national heroes like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru”.
The Congress leader said that Maluka had done “irreparable damage to the reputation of education department but has been behaving as if he had won laurels for the department”.
The Congress has been seeking the resignation of Maluka after the books scam was exposed last month. It also urged Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to drop Maluka from the cabinet.
Bajwa said that instead of owning responsibility for the scam, Maluka was adamant on not resigning.
Badal ordered a probe into the scam nearly 20 days back. However, nothing has come out of the probe so far, and the Congress has rejected the probe.
“The most unfortunate part is that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal chose to defend the tainted minister and tried to hush up the matter by holding a sham inquiry,” Bajwa said in a statement here.