The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday launched an offensive against Pradesh Congress Committee president Virbhadra Singh, challenging the veteran leader for a debate on violations of land laws in the state.
BJP state chief Satpal Singh Satti convened a press conference to rebut the charges made by the Congress party in its resolution passed here on Tuesday.
"The Congress for the past some time has been beating around the bush that the BJP government has violated the land laws, but the things are otherwise. Instead of levelling allegations, Congress should come out with the fact file," said Satpal Singh Satti who was flanked by Shimla MLA Suresh Bhardwaj, HIMUDA chairman Ganesh Dutt and party general secretary Ram Swaroop Sharma.
Satti urged Virbhadra Singh to stop making false allegations. "It does not look nice for a leader of Virbhadra Singh's stature to make personal attacks against any party leader," said Satti, while defending chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal's son Anurag Thakur.
"Anurag being president of the HPCA has constructed cricket stadiums for public use not for personal use," said Thakur.
He said that during Virbhadra Singh's regime, permission to purchase land under section 118 of the land tenancy Act was even given to foreigners.
Satti, to substantiate his allegations, even quoted a permission given to a Canadian during Virbhadra Singh's regime. Satti dared Virbhadra Singh for a debate on allegation of violations of land laws. "It is for Singh to decide venue, we are ready for an open debate so that people know truth. We have proofs where Virbhadra Singh has given hand-written permission," said Satti.
He said that the Congress should prove where the BJP has allotted government land to private universities.
Taking a dig, he said, "Virbhadra Singh's appointment as the state party chief is now being questioned by Congress leader Kaul Singh Thakur who was ousted unceremoniously."
Escalating the attack on Virbhadra Singh, he targeted Singh's brother-in-law Arun Sen for illegally possessing surplus land and later allegedly selling it out to realtors.
"When land ceiling Act came into being, Arun Sen was holding 1,548 bighas of land in different villages of sub-tehsil Kishangarh," said Satti.
In reply to a question, Satti denied that the BJP had any political intention behind exempting religious organisations from the Land Ceiling Act.