Senior Congress leader Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday expressed regret for his tirade against the media, and his threat to break their cameras if they continued to question him about alleged tax fraud and land scams.
Addressing a news conference in Shimla, Singh said that he was aware that the media was performing its job in covering the various campaigns in the state of Himachal Pradesh, which goes to polls on November 4, and therefore, understood that it too had a responsibility to probe any leads that it could trace with regard to political leaders taking part in it.
He also issued a clarification, saying that he had done nothing illegal,and that he had earned all his profits from horticulture. He said that he was willing to subject himself to a thorough scrutiny by the authorities, and demanded that proof should be provided to certify that he was guilty.
Earlier in the day, Singh lost his cool and abused the media on Wednesday when he was questioned on the corruption allegations against him.
Singh threatened to break the cameras of mediapersons.
"I will break your cameras. Don't you have any work? The allegations are wrong and baseless," Singh said in response to Tuesday?s expose by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Tuesday had alleged that Singh had altered his income tax account books from 2008 onwards to show a forged, back-dated contract and a highly inflated income of around Rs 6.5 crore.
Singh had recently come under the scanner following allegations that he had received payments from a steel company which had come to light after raids were conducted on the firm in 2010.
The BJP's attack relates to a contract reportedly signed by Singh with one Vishambar Das giving his orchard for an annual payment of Rs 10.5 Lakh.
The party said when the diaries of the steel company seized during the raid came out in the open, Singh entered into a back-dated contract with one Anand Chauhan, an LIC agent, to replace the earlier contract. The amount in the contract with Chauhan adds upto around Rs 6.5 crore over three years.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that Virbhadra Singh had proved Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrong with his corrupt ways.
While Manmohanji has said that money doesn?t grow on trees, Virbhadra Singh has proved that money grows on trees, and that too, on apple trees,? said Naqvi.
And, attacking the media will not help him escape the allegations. Whatever the allegations, that they are coming out, is a serious matter,? he added.
Samajwadi Party leader Kamal Farooqi described the attack on the medi as very unfortunate.
It is unfortunate that the Congress leaders are behaving like this. First, we saw Salman Khurshid (Union Law and Justice Minister behaving like this in New Delhi and Farukhabad), and now, Virbhadra Singh. One should not have behaved like this with media. Especially, for the person who is projecting himself as the chief minister. If there is corruption on his part, it will come out,? said Farooqi.
If he is not really honest, then he should not become the president of the party in Himachal Pradesh, and he he should give answers,? Farooqi added.
The BJP has demanded an investigation by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the matter, saying that it could not trust the Central Bureau of Investigation to do a good job, as it had botched many cases of corruption in the past, and had a poor track record.