Chandigarh, May 4: Congress leader Hardev Singh Laddi was on Friday booked by Punjab Police on the charge of illegal mining, within hours of the declaration of his candidature for the Shahkot Assembly seat by-election by the ruling party. The case was registered against Laddi and three others, including a contractor, at the Mehatpur police station in Jalandhar rural police division.
Laddi, contractor Surjeet Singh and others were booked under Section 21 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act and Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code. Complainant Mohan Singh, General Secretary of the Brick Kiln Labourers Union, alleged that at the behest of Laddi and the contractor, illegal digging/mining had been going on in Nakodar area in Jalandhar district. Congress leaders alleged that the case was registered early Friday morning at the behest of a police officer who was posted in Shahkot only two days back.
Polling for the Shahkot Assembly seat will take place on May 28. The seat fell vacant following the death of sitting Shiromani Akali Dal legislator Ajit Singh Kohar in February. Kohar, a former Minister, was elected five times from this seat. Laddi had lost to Kohar by nearly 5,000 votes in the 2017 Assembly elections.(IANS)