PHAGWARA: In a hard hitting statement released here today, Sukhpal Singh Khaira MLA and former Leader of Opposition debunked, trashed and rejected the charges of ED of my having made huge payments to some fashion designers. Khaira said these payments which are very nominal in terms of money were made in the year 2015–16 at the time of the wedding of his daughter.

Khaira said it is a normal practice of every family particularly the Punjabi’s to try and give their best to their children particularly daughters at the time of their weddings. Khaira said his family had purchased three wedding dresses in the year 2015–16 for his daughter and his family. He said the wedding dresses were in the range of about 7-8 lac rupees in total. He said the source of money paid to the said fashion designers came from his agriculture limit/overdraft account in a bank at Jalandhar.

He said he was amused by the charges flashed to the media as if he had paid crores of rupees to the said fashion designers, whereas the three dresses that his family purchased were of negligible cost as stated above. Khaira said it is common knowledge that people buy very expensive wedding dresses sometimes to the tune of 25-30 lac rupees or even more for may be one wedding dress, while he and his family had purchased only routine necessary wedding dresses.

Khaira said he was saddened to note, that attempts were being made by ED to malign him and aimed at his character assassination by repeating the same old charges of fake passports and the NDPS case related to Fazilka. Khaira said he once again reiterates that he was never named in the FIR, neither his name appeared in the challan report nor any recovery was made from him in the said NDPS Fazilka case. Khaira said it is an open secret, that the said NDPS case was slapped against him under a well planned political vendetta drive after effective role as Leader of Opposition as a result one minister had to resign from the Cabinet. Khaira said his name was dragged into the said NDPS case as an afterthought in the year 2017 when he was LoP, as those involved in the NDPS Fazilka case were arrested in the year 2015 and have been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, while the summons issued to him in the said Fazilka NDPS case have been stayed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

Similarly, Khaira trashed and debunked the frivolous and malicious allegations of having fake passports. He said ED raided his premises on 9th March 2021, if they had found any incriminating documents or fake passports they would have definitely flashed them in public domain by now, as they have selectively released information about paying fashion designers.

Therefore, Khaira urged the ED not to indulge in character assassination and malicious campaign to damage his public image.

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