CBI charge-sheet: HP CM opens front against Arun Jaitley


    The Himachal Pradesh Assembly today virtually turned into a battlefield with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh opening front against Union Finance Minister Sh. Arun Jaitley over the on-going investigations against HP CM over disproportionate assets.

    The Chief Minister lost his cool when BJP member Sh. Maheshwar Singh after the Question Hour referred to media reports that the CBI has finalised its charge-sheet in the disproportionate assets case against him and his family.

    Mincing no words, he blamed Sh. Jaitley and his predecessor Sh. Prem Kumar Dhumal for hatching a political conspiracy against him. “I am not scared from such charges. These are politically motivated. I will not be cowed down,” Sh. Virbhadra Singh said.

    “I am being politically harassed. This is my personal issue.” the octogenarian Chief Minister said. He accused Jaitley and former two-time chief minister Sh. Prem Kumar Dhumal and his sons – Sh. Anurag Thakur, an MP from Hamirpur in this State and Sh. Arun Dhumal – accusing them of unleashing a “malicious campaign to tarnish his image.

    Sh. Virbhadra Singh who is at the helm for the sixth time, said Prem Kumar Dhumal had got charges framed against him during his two terms as chief minister. “I was honorably acquitted by the courts,” he said. On the on-going probes by the central agencies against him, the Chief Minister said “three-three agencies — the CBI, the ED (Enforcement Directorate) and the IT (Income Tax) are investigation one case.”

    “Is this not witch-hunting, then what is that,” he asked. Virbhadra Singh said he has full faith in the “majesty of law”. “I will face (the cases) and fight it out. In the end truth will prevail,” he said. As the Chief Minister completed his assertions, the assembly suddenly witnessed sloganeering and ruckus, with the opposition BJP demanding a debate on the fresh revelations against Virbhadra Singh.

    When Speaker Sh. B.B.L. Butail disallowed it, this agitated the BJP legislators and they staged a protest walkout from the assembly. After few minutes, the BJP members returned to the house and demanded debate on the issue. The Speaker again disallowed and continued the proceedings. Not satisfied with his decision, BJP member Sh. Ravinder Ravi got furious and asked the Speaker to allow the opposition to raise the issue regarding filing of the charge-sheet against the Chief Minister.

    An agitated Ravi had broken the mike at the table. Then the entire BJP rushed near the podium of the Speaker and started sloganeering. Speaker Butail continued the house proceedings amidst pandemonium. Before adjourning the house for a day, the speaker said the act of BJP member Ravi “is contempt of the house”.

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    ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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