Himachal CM Virbhadra again caught in multi-crore scam
The clever game of UPA government is coming out openly in front of the people. One after another there have been many corruption cases in which Congress was seen saving its skin by hook or by crook. The latest case is of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who has allegedly taken bribe from a private power firm for granting it extension for a project. There have been allegations of corruption against him earlier too, but everytime he was saved.
According to Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, Virbhadra Singh was involved in three corruption cases earlier. Last year a media organisation in Mumbai reported about a raid on a steel company that had records of the payments and someone with the initials of VBS had provided a large amount to that company. This is one of the two cases.
“In the other, a guy named Anand Chauhan opened an account and deposited Rs 5 crore in Punjab National Bank in Shimla and issued a cheque in the name of Virbhadra Singh, his wife, and children through an insurance policy. Singh owns apple orchards and had disclosed his income in three years to be Rs 7, 15, 25 lakh respectively,” Shri Jaitely added. There were allegations against them that they had breached the Prevention of Corruption Act in 1989, when Singh was Chief Minister of the state. The CBI alleged that it had evidence in recorded conversations between the couple and various others concerning suspect financial transactions. The alleged recordings, which involved a now-dead officer of the Indian Administrative Service and several industrialists, dated from 2007 and were provided by a political opponent, Vijay Singh Mankotia. The couple was granted bail in December 2010 but in April 2011 the state government requested that this be rescinded due to allegations of witness tampering. On June 26, 2012, Singh resigned from the Union Cabinet as a consequence of corruption charges being pressed against him but after one year he was appointed CM of Himachal Pradesh.
The whole Congress seems to be saving Virbhadra Singh as in the past Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar was saved in the coal scam. Similarly clean chit was also given to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2G scam even though former Telecom Minister A Raja insisted that he kept Dr Singh and Chidambaram in the loop on all decisions related to the 2G allocation. Raja told the Committee that he took “every major decision”, including entry fee and non auction of spectrum, after consulting Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram and the then External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh and senior BJP leader Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal has demanded immediate resignation of Virbhadra Singh and said only a CBI inquiry is the solution in this situation. Talking to Organiser over telephone he said the entire family of Virbhadra Singh is looting Himachal Pradesh and they all must be punished sternly. “Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh should resign till the enquiry against him and his family members for allegedly accepting bribe from a private power company during his tenure as Union Steel Minister, is over. It is a ‘serious matter’, Virbhadra Singh has misguided not only the IT Department but also the Election Commission by hiding information about loans he and his wife took from firms of Vakamulla Chandrasekhar. In case the Chief Minister remains adamant on not resigning from the post, BJP would urge the President and Himachal Pradesh Governor to sack him and order a CBI enquiry into the allegations levelled against him,” Prof Dhumal told Organiser.
He clarified that the BJP government had cancelled a sanction of a power project to Venture Energy and Technology after it found that the company had given wrong facts to the government. He asked Congress high command to take a strong action and remove Virbhadra to prove that the party was all set to remove corruption from society in real sense.
Himachal BJP has already given a detailed chargesheet to the Governor covering various allegations against Virbhadra Singh and his Ministers in the past one year. It highlighted various matters of corruption including that of Ispat diaries entries of giving crores as bribe to the Chief Minister who was then a Union Minister at the Centre. It has questioned the revised income tax returns of Virbhadra Singh and his colossal increase of income in apple orchards that are being probed now by the CBI. The sudden deposits of more than Rs 7 crore in Virbhadra Singh and his MP wife Pratibha Singh’s bank account and his family’s purchase of lakhs of shares in one Chandrashekhar Vakkamullah’s company, who was also allotted a hydro electric project in Himachal.
Now Shri Arun Jaitley has written a letter to Prime Minister along with evidences and he released the copy of the letter to media in Delhi. However till the time of writing this news Virbhadra Singh was adamant not to resign. The bigger question is that the Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is preaching to curb corruption but when it comes to take an action against his own party leaders facing serious corruption charges he goes into silence.