The Punjab vigilance bureau issued a look out circular (LOC) on Friday against former chief minister and Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi, preventing him from leaving the country because the agency is investigating allegations that he amassed assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
Speaking with TOI, Channi stated: “I have not received any such information from the bureau till now. But I am open to join the investigation whenever I am asked to do so.”
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The former chief minister was set to go to California on Thursday on an invitation from Punjabi NRIs to participate in a ‘nagar kirtan,’ but he cancelled his trip when chief minister Bhagwant Mann said in the legislature two days ago that he intends to imprison Channi. As a result, Channi stated that he wanted to remain so that Mann does not subsequently claim that Channi has absconded.
The vigilance department is investigating a complaint against Channi for diversion of money from an official function for his son’s marriage.
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In addition, it was revealed in an RTI response that when Channi was chief minister, he spent Rs 60 lakh on his meal bill during a three-month period.
The vigilance agency also got a complaint saying that the tourist department spent roughly Rs 1.47 crore on a programme called ‘Daastan-e-Shahaadat’ on November 19, 2021 in Chamkaur Sahib, Channi’s assembly seat.
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It is also learned that the vigilance agency obtained certain leads against the previous chief minister while investigating a corruption prevention case.
(With Inputs From Jagwinder Patial)