BJP maligning Virbhadra's image, says Congress

Shimla, Jan 2 : The opposition BJP in Himachal Pradesh is trying to divert the public's attention by maligning the image of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh over alleged payoffs by a company to him and his family, the state Congress said Thursday.

"As the chief minister has reiterated that he is ready for a CBI probe and he will cooperate in the investigation conducted by the agency, we also want these two BJP leaders to prove the charges or quit politics as Virbhadra Singh has also promised to do so if proved guilty," state Congress chief Sukhvinder Sukhu said.

The Congress chief was referring to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Arun Jaitley and Anurag Thakur, who have demanded the chief minister's resignation over the alleged payoffs.

Congress leader said there was no truth in the allegations.

Jaitley alleged that the chief minister accepted Rs.1.5 crore and Rs.2.4 crore through cheques in his and his parliamentarian wife Pratibha Singh's name from Venture Energy and Technology Pvt. Ltd, which was executing a power project in the state.

He said the company was given two extensions in a hydel power project despite defaulting.

Thakur, an MP from Hamirpur in Himachal and son of two-time chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, in a complaint to Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath sought action against Virbhadra Singh for hiding information in his election affidavit.

He said the chief minister did not declare the payments or the shares held by his family members in the company.

"The state has ordered inquiry into various corruption cases (during the previous BJP regime) as phone tapping, proxy land deals and into the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) in which Dhumal's family members are facing several cases," Congress leaders said.

--IANS (Posted on 02-01-2014)

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