'BJP not conspiring against Virbhadra Singh': Himachal CM Dhumal
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Saturday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party was not conspiring against former Union Minister Virbhadra Singh.
"It is unfortunate that if the allegations levelled against him (Virbhadra Singh) are true as the image of the state has been tarnished. But it is more upsetting that he does not indulge in self-introspection and he alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is conspiring against him," Dhumal told mediapersons in Shimla.
"Is the Income Tax Department working under BJP? Does the steel industry ask BJP as to what should they write in their diaries and is the CAG also working under BJP?" he asked.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Anurag Thakur demanded a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe against Virbhadra Singh.
"Should the probe be not conducted this matter? We demand Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the matter. Congress should stop all this. Allegations over controversial CD were also levelled against Virbhadra Singh, his relatives were accused for the violation of the provisions of Land Ceiling Act. He could not escape from any of the charges," Thakur told mediapersons in Chandigarh.
"This new incident has marred the image of Congress and the people are watching that the how the corrupt Congress leaders are insulting Himachal Pradesh," he added.
BJP leader J.P. Nadda also echoed similar sentiments on the issue.
"On the issue of the exposures made by the news channel and the documents which have come up and these are authenticated documents of the IT department, a thorough investigation of this should take place and this should be probed by a Special Investigation Team," Nadda told mediapersons in Shimla.
"The culprits should be brought to books. In order to save a firm from a default of 700 (seven billion) crores rupees, these are kickbacks and these are in the name of 'VBS' and 'APS' and other firms. Therefore, an action should be taken against them and Virbhadra Singh should tell 'Who is this 'VBS'?" he added.
Virbhadra Singh, however, dismissed all allegations levelled against him, and threatened legal action against all the people behind the 'motivated campaign'.'
"This is totally false, malicious and motivated and I strongly deny this. Furthermore I am willing to face any inquiry in this regard by any agency. It is a cheap political stunt and nothing more," said Singh.
"Once the polls are over, I will take legal action against all the people who are behind this false, motivated and negative campaign against me," he added.
Singh, who was the Union Minister for Steel between May 2009 and January 2011, said that ISPAT Industries was not favoured during his tenure.
"I challenge anyone to prove that any undue favour was accorded to ISPAT Industries, this company was not favoured by the Steel Ministry in any way, during my tenure," said Singh.
The former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister's statement came in the wake of reports in a section of the media claiming that he and several others received payoffs from ISPAT Industries.