Dismissed Punjab Police DSP Balwinder Singh Sekhon (58) Tuesday filed nomination papers as an Independent candidate from Ludhiana West constituency, to take on Cabinet minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu. He has also filed nomination from Amritsar East against PPCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Sekhon, a PPS officer, was dismissed from the service in August last year after a no holds barred altercation between him and the minister over the alleged CLU scam that had also rocked the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. Sekhon had also moved court against Ashu alleging that the minister had ‘threatened’ him even as the Congress leader had claimed that the officer had sent him abusive texts.
Sekhon said he decided to contest Assembly polls from minister’s constituency “not to win but to get a platform to talk about the injustice done with him” and to make voters aware of “leaders such as Ashu”.
“Some battles are fought not to be won but to show some people their place. Both Ashu and Sidhu conspired against me. Sidhu, as the then local bodies minister, marked an enquiry but did not take any action on my probe report which indicted Ashu for his involvement in the CLU scam. What was my fault? Just that I did my work honestly and submitted the report,” said Sekhon, adding that his fight was not just against Ashu but all such “politicians and ministers” who are dishonest and corrupt.
“I won’t be asking for votes for myself but will tell voters the reality of MLAs like Ashu and Simarjeet Bains so that people do not vote for them. Bains is booked in a rape case but still contesting polls. I am contesting these polls so that I get a platform to talk about the injustice done to me. Currently I have no source of income because I was dismissed from service for submitting a genuine probe report,” said Sekhon.
The dismissed police officer said the court he filed against Ashu is still pending. “I am not (SAD leader Bikarm Singh) Majithia or Bains that the Supreme Court will hear my case on priority,” said Sekhon.
During the probe of Grand Manor Homes CLU scam of 2019, the audio clips of Ashu’s purported conversations with Sekhon (who was probing the case) were leaked and went viral.
It was alleged that Ashu and another Ludhiana Congress leader, Kamaljit Karwal, allegedly helped a private company, building residential flats on Gill road of Ludhiana, and used their political influence in getting them to Change of Land Use certificate using forged land ownership papers. Their names figured in the probe report submitted by Sekhon to Sidhu, then local bodies minister, in 2019.
The case even led to the fallout between Ashu and Sidhu after the latter had quipped, “Mantri ho ya santri, sabko thokunga’ (Be it a minister or anyone, I won’t spare any one),” when the Opposition AAP and SAD questioned him in Vidhan Sabha over the action against Ashu. While AAP had staged a walk-out from the House demanding the sacking of the minister, then CM Capt Amarinder Singh, defended Ashu in the House and said that he won’t take any arbitrary action against the minister without any evidence. Ashu had said he was open to any inquiry and claimed that the DSP was abusing him for over three months.
Eventually, Sidhu was divested of the local bodies portfolio, marking his exit from Cabinet after he refused to accept the role of the power minister in June 2019. The DSP was also eventually dismissed from service.
According to his affidavit, the officer was also booked in an FIR in May 2020 at Patti police station of Tarn Taran under the offences of promoting enmity between different groups, defamation, outraging religious feelings etc for allegedly putting up a Facebook post against Patti MLA Harminder Singh Gill of Congress, Punjab DGP, local SSP etc. “I had written in the favor of a SHO who was issued threats by the MLA and the audios had gone viral. I was already under suspension and just to harass me further, this FIR was also registered on the complaint of a Congress worker. All of them are hands in glove,” says Sekhon.