Leader of opposition and former Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal alleged that Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was misleading the All India Congress Committee (AICC) after submitting certain papers in his defense over corruption charges.
Addressing a crowded press conference at hotel holiday home at Shimla yesterday, Mr. Dhumal said that after going through the details of document submitted to AICC which also appeared in its website, it seemed that Mr. Singh was misleading AICC and people of this hill state.
The impression was being created that 17 MW Sehi power project of about Rs. 150 crore value (in 2004) M/s. Venture Energy Ltd. was allotted by the BJP rule and it was being canceled by the Congress.
Mr. Dhumal said that power project was being awarded in the influence of senior government functionary, though than power minister (Vidya Stokes) was against it which was also given special extension of 10 months as Mr. Singh’s government came in power after 2013 but it was suddenly cancelled after the fresh revelation in November 2013.
The project was handed over to state electricity board as it was cancelled, it was given four extensions earlier. But during last tenure of Mr. Singh it was further allotted to the same firm despite it was cancelled by the state high court.
Though the Supreme Court did not re-allot this project to the same firm as Mr. Singh had stated in the document submitted to AICC but the apex court just asked to reconsider it.
Who had interest to hand over the power project to private sector from public sector, though apex court did not clearly mention to re-allot it.
The historian would compare Himachal Pradesh in future with fodder scam of Bihar as came forth in 1990 in which number of scooters were being mentioned to transport cow and buffaloes as in the Apple scam the scooter was being used to transport apple worth of Rs. 2.21 crore in Mr. Singh’s orchard.
Seeking resignation of Mr. Singh after fresh charges Mr. Dhumal said that the fact coming forth is not being clarified by Chief Minister so far.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should apply his brain as this case is clear Quid do pro as PM mentioned in recent press conference that he is not able to apply his brain over the charges of corruption on Mr. Singh.
AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi who has stated in the public that Congress would adopt zero corruption in the party should also think over this issue.
One can not absolve from his duty to the public after blaming HPCA, BJP, media or Congress leader for the fresh revelation but Mr. Singh have to defend himself or should resign on high moral grounds.
Alleging that there was an “open and shut case of corruption” against Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh over payments from a power company’s promoter, Arun Jaitley on December 30 demanded a probe and action from Manmohan Singh and the Congress.
At a press conference in Delhi, Rajya Sabha member Arun Jaitley alleged Virbhadra Singh that he accepted money to the tune of 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.
Dismissing the allegations leveled against him by Dhumal and Jaitley, the chief minister told reporters in these words “are false, frivolous and fabricated”.
“The accusations were preposterous and politically motivated. If they have any evidence, they are free knock at the door of Lokayukta,” Virbhadra Singh said.
He said that Dhumals have started a malicious campaign against him since the state vigilance bureau has booked Anurag Thakur and Arun Dhumal for allegedly grabbing land near Dharamshala by forging revenue records.
Thakur, an MP from Hamirpur, is also the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) administrator.
“The Dhumal government went out of the way to give precious government land worth Rs. 200 crore at five places to HPCA. His government indulged in illegal phone tapping of their political opponents, their own ministers, officers and media persons, which is a serious scam,” the chief minister said in a statement.