Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Virbhadra Singh lost his temper and threatened to break the cameras of mediapersons when he was questioned about fresh allegations against him.
Union minister Virbhadra Singh addresses the media after he resigned from the Union Cabinet following corruption charges framed against him for allegedly misusing his office when he was the Himachal Pradesh chief minister in 1989. HT Photo/Vipin Kumar
The former chief minister of the poll-bound hill state later apologised for the incident, hours after the Congress expressed regret, calling Singh's remarks unfortunate.
"I will break your cameras. Don't you have any other work to do?," a visibly agitated Singh, a former Union Minister, shot back when reporters quizzed him about graft allegations.
The incident happened at Ani in Kullu district last evening when some mediapersons sought his reaction to the fresh charges levelled against him by the BJP.
At a press conference convened by him in Shimla today on the allegations against him, Singh began by apologising for yesterday's incident.
"I am sorry. I did not mean to offend anyone," Singh said, adding, "I've no hesitation in showing my regret for that(incident) if I've hurt anybody's sentiments." The senior Congress leader rejected the allegations against him.
Singh said he respected the media and that they are doing their job.
"I respect the press. I respect all the media. I know this is your job," Singh said, adding "there is no other politician more well-mannered than me."
The Congress earlier in the day apologised for Singh's outburst.
"If anyone is hurt, we apologise," party spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit said when asked to react to the incident.
Terming as "unfortunate" Singh's remarks, Dikshit said such things can sometime happen in the midst of an election campaign.
"We do not know the context behind the incident.
Sometimes in the midst of an election campaign one gets angry and upset.
It is unfortunate. Virbhadra Singh is a senior leader. Sometimes, in the midst of election campaign, such things
happen under mental or physical pressure," Dikshit told reporters in Delhi.
Virbhadra threatens to file defamation suit
Under attack from the opposition on charges of corruption and forgery, Virbhadra Singh on Wesdnesday threatened to file defamation suit against those indulging in his "character assassination".
Lashing out BJP leader Arun Jaitley for making allegations of foregery, money laundering and income tax evasion against him, Singh said, "Jaitley should worry more about his national president who is in a sham today. Jaitley should divert his attention towards him rather than poor Virbhadra Singh."
"I reserve my right. I will take legal action. I will sue. I will file defamation suits. Let them be prepared to face the consequences of false allegations. My biggest asset is my honour, my dignity," Singh said in Shimla.
"I cannot allow any Tom, Dick and Harry to point fingers at my character, my honesty and my integrity," he said, adding that the allegations amounted to his character assassination.
Clarifying on the revised Income Tax return filed by him, he said he has every right to do so.
"I have done nothing wrong. I can say categorically that I have my other income to be negligible. My entire income is from horticulture. Since I was in politics, earlier I was not able to manage my properly. I was unable to market my property properly. So I was suffering a loss," he said.