Punjab BJP minister blames Akali colleague for attack on brother

Chandigarh (IANS): A BJP minister in the Punjab government Wednesday blamed a cabinet colleague, who is a member of alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal, for a “pre-planned” murderous attack on his brother.

Medical Education minister Anil Joshi, who is from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told the media here that his brother was attacked and fired upon by some Akali Dal councillors in Tarn Taran town, 250 km from here.

Joshi released video footage of the attack and said it was a “pre-planned attempt to murder”.

He demanded a judicial probe into the incident, alleging that police and the administration were trying to shield the Akali Dal leaders.

Joshi alleged that the attack was carried out by people close to Punjab’s powerful Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia.

Raja Joshi, the brother of the BJP minister, was allegedly assaulted and fired at by local Akali Dal leaders at the deputy commissioner’s office complex owing to differences over municipal elections.

“If this is the fate of my brother, what can we say about the security and justice for common people in Punjab. I am seeking justice,” the minister said.

He said he has brought the matter to the notice of Punjab BJP president Kamal Sharma who has taken it up with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

He said he will also raise the issue with BJP’s central leadership and union ministers.

The Akali Dal and the BJP have been running an alliance government in Punjab since 2007.