In a major political development yesterday, six times Himachal’s chief minister Virbhadra Singh filed three defamation criminal suits against leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, prominent lawyer Arun Jaitely and former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in a local court alleging to unleash malicious campaign against them.
Addressing a crowded press conference, Mr. Singh disclosed that three defamation suits have been filed by him against Mr. Jaitely, Mr. Dhumal and his two sons this morning as they were unleashing malicious allegations against the former.
The first case is lodged against Mr. Jaitely and Mr. Dhumal and second and third against Mr. Anurag Thakur and Arun Dhumal, both the sons of former chief minister, Mr. Singh said who was planked by most of cabinet colleagues, chief parliamentary secretaries, chairman and deputy chairman in the press conference convened at the backyard of CM’s official residence at Oak today.
Earlier all the cabinet ministers and others accompanied Mr. Singh at district court where he filed three criminal suits against the four in a well designed way which probably happened first time in the history of this hill state.
Health minister Kaul Singh Thakur, Panchayat Raj Minister and son of former Union Minister Sukh Ram were missing at the court and CM’s residence but Mr. Singh dramatically evaded the media queries and left the premises of the press conference. However, Mr. Singh narrated few detail of filing cases against the BJP leaders.
Mr. Singh said that Mr. Jaitely and Mr. Dhumal were unleashing malicious campaign against him as all these years they were launching media trials without taking his views on various allegations.
Terming it political vendetta, Mr. Singh said that it was tarnishing his clean image as people of this hill state reposed immense confidence on him after electing him for the highest office and for the post of Chief minister for six times.
He said that propaganda was being created against him after taking the income tax returns and election affidavit of him in the public domain. They were concealing the vital facts from these personal documents while bringing frivolous and the facts partly to suit their evil design.
Mr. Singh said that he has stated in the defamation suit that when Mr. Dhumal came in power for the first time in a minority government with Himachal Vikas Congress, he also initiated the CBI probe against him in 24 pages charge sheet in which the agency gave clean chit to him.
He said that during the second tenure of Mr. Dhumal he also lodged frivolous court cases on the bases of audio and Sagar Katha case in which the court exonerated him from all charges before he was elected for the sixth time for chief ministership on December 25, 2012.
“I do not want to make this hill state Punjab and Tamil Nadu and politically victimize the political adversaries. I had never targeted Mr. Dhumal and BJP leaders and not filed any single case on them during five tenures,” Mr. Singh said
Chief Minister said that during last BJP rule, congress brought out a charge sheet against Mr. Dhumal’s government in which he was not a member and it was submitted to President of India, Pranab Mukherjee and governor Urmila Singh. But as Congress came in the power, this charge sheet was handed over to the state vigilance and anti-corruption wing on the directions of the governor being not probed against former BJP government.
During BJP rule Dhumal’s government handed over the land worth Rs.200 crore on Rs.1 lease to Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association which was presided by Mr. Dhumal’s eldest son, MP from Lok Sabha Hamirpur Mr. Anurag Thakur. This case was also being probed by the vigilance department and charge sheet was being filed against the HPCA.
Mr. Singh said that he had urged the court that Dhumal and his sons were carrying a malicious campaign as they were feeling the heat of charges leveled against them in the HPCA cases and they are now trying to defend themselves after starting malicious campaign against him in a well designed manner.
He said that Arun Jaitley brought the details of his assets and income tax returns documents and leveled corruption charges on his government after alleging that Sai Kothi project which was being singed by BJP government in 2004 was being given extension by Congress government.
He said that it was true that he raised loan from Vakamulla Chandrashekhar when he was not in the government and this amount has nothing to do with the project and at that time BJP was in rule and he had no inkling to come in the power for the sixth term.
He said that BJP leaders also accused him for purchasing shares but he wants to clarify that it was fully paid for the amount it was mentioned. He alleged that malicious campaign was started by the BJP leaders after bringing forth suspicions and selected facts and concealing the vital facts.
He said that during BJP rule it had recorded the tape of political adversaries which is the biggest tape scam in the country. He said that Mr. Dhumal’s family made a person named Premu landless as land given to this landless person in the past from government’s pool was purchased by the sons of Mr. Dhumal making him land less again. He said that these matters were raised in the congress charge sheet and was being probed by the investigating agencies.
Mr. Singh challenged the BJP leader that if they found any substance in the charges leveled on him and his family members they should file an affidavit before Lokayukta of Himachal Pradesh as the state was among few states where this institution has been working for a long time having own investigating wing.
It was Mr. Dhumal’s government when present Lokayukta belonged to this state and very eminent persons and retired judge of supreme court were appointed. Former chief minister should have confidence to file complaints against him in Lokayukta instead of making frequent charges on him in the media.
Chief minister said that he has a firm belief in the rule of law and has faith in judiciary had taken course of defamation after filing criminal suits against the BJP leaders as the charges being leveled on him were flimsy and frivolous.
The cases were filed by Mr. Singh in the chief judicial magistrate Jyotsna Rewal, Shimla today and the judge fixed the next date for passing order on February 15, 2014.