Virbhadra Gets a Breather From Congress, BJP Moves EC
By PTI | Published: 01st January 2014 09:55 PM |
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, facing allegations of corruption, seems to have got a breather with Congress holding there is "nothing new" in the charges even as BJP mounted pressure by demanding his resignation and moving the Election Commission.
The view in Congress is that BJP is raking up old allegations with an eye on putting the ruling party on the defensive ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Singh, who today met AICC General Secretary in-charge for Himachal Pradesh Ambika Soni and party's former legal department Chairman Abhishek Singhvi, explained that there is no truth in the charges which were "politically motivated" and "malicious". He later left for Kullu.
Himachal Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri, who accompanied the Chief Minister during the meetings, said the project in question was cancelled by the present Congress regime in November after the company defaulted. He added that the project was allotted by the erstwhile BJP government led by Prem Kumar Dhumal in 2002.
Congress sources downplayed questions over Singh not being able to meet Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, saying while the Congress President is "indisposed" and no appointment was fixed, the Congress Vice President is out of town.
In Shimla, the Himachal Cabinet met and unanimously backed the Chief Minister.
Stepping up pressure, BJP moved the Election Commission seeking action against him and his wife for "hiding facts" about their finances to the poll body.
Party MP and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha chief Anurag Thakur met Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath and handed over a memorandum demanding action against Singh and his wife.
"Virbhadra Singh should resign immediately. Let Congress decide on any other candidate for chief ministership. This is the fifth corruption charge against Singh.
"This is also a test for Congress to act against him to prove if it is really serious on the issue of corruption. This will also prove the leadership of Rahul Gandhi whether he means what he has been saying on corruption or is it only double-speak," Thakur said.
Pratibha Singh, who is the Congress MP from Mandi and also facing corruption allegations, met a number of senior party leaders at the AICC headquarters here on Tuesday to explain her position on the issue.