SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh BJP leaders today hailed the CBI raids against chief minister Virbhadra Singh and refuted the allegations of Congress that the Centre was misusing the CBI.
The former chief minister and leader of the Opposition, P K Dhumal said that the matter pertained to previous UPA government in which Virbhadra Singh was Steel Minister and after some diaries surfaced, a PIL was filed in Delhi High Court, seeking a CBI enquiry.
Dhumal said that it was strange that the Congress ministers knew about possible registration of FIR against the CM and expressed solidarity with Singh while the BJP leaders and others were totally ignorant about it. It "indicates that some Congress leaders were in touch with the developments taking place at the Centre", he said.
Former state party president, Suresh Bharadwaj, who is also the chief Whip of BJP Legislature Party said that the charge of Congress minister that the Centre was trying to "destabilise" the Congress government and misusing the investigation agencies to implicate Singh in false cases was "false and baseless".
The HPCC president said that the matter was subjudice and under investigations by Income Tax, Enforcement directorate and CBI and conducting raid at a time when his daughter was being married is "unethical and wrong". The entire Congress was behind the chief minister and condemns the act of vengeance, he added.
The state BJP chief, Satpal Singh Satti also said that the BJP had been raising the issue of corruption against Virbhadra Singh ever since the scam in steel ministry surfaced and as FIR has been registered by the CBI, he should tender his resignation and face the enquiry.
Asserting that the "CBI is an independent investigating agency of the Union government and was functioning independently, without any pressure or influence and as such the Congress allegations are false and baseless", he added.
The BJP spokesman Ganesh Dutt and party General secretary Randhir Sharma have also criticised the Congress leaders for distorting the facts to mislead the people and demanded resignation of chief minister on moral grounds. Senior state CPI(M) leader, Rakesh Singh said that the misuse of CBI by the Union government is nothing new and both the Congress and BJP government had been misusing it.
However, he said that so far only FIR has been registered against Singh and he need not resign till the charges are framed, which a normal practice is. He said that that he was not exonerating Virbhadra Singh but only pleading that the law should be allowed take its own course and he should resign immediately after charges are framed by court.
Charges of corruption against chief ministers and union ministers are very common but action should be taken against the BJP chief Ministers and central ministers against whom serious charges have been levelled, he added. The BJP believes in the constitution and abides by it and there was no question of pressurising or misusing the CBI, he added.
CBI today raided the official residence of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in Shimla and 12 other places in connection with an alleged disproportionate assets case on a day his daughter was getting married. Bharadwaj said that the BJP MLAs had been making these allegations against Virbhadra Singh "for a long time and now these allegations are proving to be correct and soon the truth would come out".
Under the circumstances, the Chief Minister should immediately resign to facilitate a free and fair probe, he added.
The Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president Sukhvinder Singh Sukkhu accused the BJP government of wreaking political vendetta against the CM and condemned the raids.