Mankotia seeks Virbhadra's resignation; threatens fast-unto-death

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HimVani

Shimla (Dec 18): Seeking resignation of Union minister Virbhadra Singh in the alleged graft case filed against him in a local court here, former Congress minister and Congress rebel Vijay Singh Mankotia today said that he would sit on fast-unto-death if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh fails to sack Singh from his ministry.

Addressing media persons here today, Mankotia demanded immediate resignation of Virbhadra Singh after he was given bail by a local court here on December 16.  Mankotia, who had released the alleged audio CD in 2007 on the basis of which Virbhadra Singh was booked, said that Singh should resign as he himself set the precedence for other former state Congress ministers like Asha Kumar and GS Bali, who were forced to step down when cases came up against them.

He said that the involvement of the Union Minister in alleged cases of corruption has maligned the image of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government and he should be asked to resign, as it happened in case of Shashi Tharoor, Natwar Singh, Ashok Chauhan, A Raja, etc. The former minister said that in the interest of justice, Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh should have been arrested as they were chargesheeted in corruption cases. He said that there should not be double yardstick for different persons.

Mankotia said that he would knock the door of Supreme Court to seek action against the Union minister and his wife. He said that he would urge Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to sack Virbhadra Singh before March 5, 2010 (the next date of hearing in the graft case), after which he would sit on fast unto death outside the court complex in Dharamshala.

The former Congress leader said that he would not join state politics until he was sure that it was free of corrupt leaders who were making mockery of the whole system. He said that he would garner support those people who want to join hand with him to wage a war against corruption in the state. He also termed the state BJP government too soft in probing the corruption charge against the Union Minister.

It is worthwhile to mention here that Mankotia has himself been sued by Virbhadra Singh in a local court here for defermation, and he was in the town to appear in the court.