The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Badal, wife questioned at home

Chandigarh, Oct. 8 (PTI): Former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his wife were questioned today by state vigilance bureau sleuths for the first time after the Amarinder Singh government instituted corruption cases against the Shiromani Akali Dal leader and his family.

The corruption cases against Badal and his family had been lodged on June 24. Badal’s son Sukhbir will be interrogated tomorrow at the vigilance bureau headquarters.

The questioning of Badal and his wife, Surinder Kaur, began at 10 am and ended shortly after 2 pm. They were questioned at his official residence here by a high-level team of bureau officials led by two DIGs, B.K. Uppal and Siddartha Chattopadhya, bureau sources said.

The interrogation, however, remained inconclusive as Badal sought time for giving clarifications on his income and expenditure statements, the sources added.

Several party leaders and workers, including Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee president Gurcharan Singh Tohra, MLAs and former ministers had gathered on the premises of Badal’s residence.

The Akali chief later told newsmen that he had no faith in the investigations but as a law-abiding citizen he had extended his cooperation to the vigilance bureau officials. He alleged that the bureau sleuths were working at the behest of Amarinder Singh.

The Akali chief said both he and his wife were asked the same questions. Sukhbir, who was also with him when Badal was briefing the newsmen, said he too expected the same questions to be asked.

Badal noted that though Amarinder had alleged before the Assembly elections last year that the Akali chief had assets worth Rs 3,500 crore, mostly outside the country, this point, however, did not find mention in the FIR against him.

He said when the bureau officials asked him about his foreign properties he questioned them instead, asking: “You have been abroad, have you found any property'” to which they (the bureau officials) kept quiet. “They (the sleuths) have even examined our plants and number of fruits which grew on them,” Badal said.

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