Former Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Friday appeared before the Vigilance Bureau in connection with a disproportionate assets matter and was questioned by the officials for seven hours.
Channi described the probe as "totally political". Emerging out from Vigilance Bureau's Mohali office in the evening, Channi again slammed the AAP government, alleging that "this government is treating worse than even the Mughals. They want to use every way to humiliate and defame." "In democracy, this is not the way.. that without any basis they try to build up a case. I stand by what I said earlier in the morning at my press conference, they may do whatever they have to," Channi said.
"I always worked with honesty and will continue to do so," he said. Ahead of entering the bureau's Mohali office around 11 am, the Congress leader had slammed the state's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government over his date of appearance being advanced and claimed that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann's regime was indulging in "vendetta politics".
The bureau had initially asked Channi to appear for questioning on April 12. He, however, requested for another date to join the investigation, which the bureau allowed, asking him to appear on April 20. Later, the Vigilance Bureau advanced it to Friday. The bureau has been inquiring into allegations of Channi amassing assets disproportionate to his known source of income. Last month, the bureau had issued a lookout circular against the former chief minister.
Asked about being questioned in the matter before he entered the bureau's office, Channi rubbished that he had accumulated any disproportionate assets and said, "The probe is totally political. Let them do what they want." Addressing a press conference before he reached the bureau's office, Channi launched a scathing attack on the state's AAP government and said he "may be tortured, arrested or even killed", but he is prepared to face it.
"Hang me if even one person says Channi was indulging in any corrupt practice," the former CM said breaking down in tears. Channi said ahead of the Jalandhar Lok Sabha bypoll, he has raised some issues. He alleged that the AAP government has been rattled by the questions he raised including those relating to Dalits, "on what the chief minister said about Akal Takht Jathedar", about justice in sacrilege cases and farmers' issues. "And when someone speaks the truth, the one who is a liar feels the pinch -- that is what has happened with the AAP government," he alleged.
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