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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Verbal duel between Virbhadra, Dhumal turns bitter

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Shimla, October 28, 2013
First Published: 19:38 IST(28/10/2013) | Last Updated: 19:40 IST(28/10/2013)

Verbal duel between the ruling Congress and opposition Bharatiya Janata Party turned bitter on Monday with former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal accusing chief minister Virbhadra Singh, scion of erstwhile Bushar state, of displaying feudal mindset during his two-day tour to Hamirpur district.

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A day after the government took over the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association's (HPCA) infrastructure, Dhumal raised questions on cricket and sports tournaments being organised in the memory of the chief minister's late father Maharaja Padam Singh and his mother Shanti Devi.

“He (Virbhadra Singh) thinks that by organising cricket tournaments annually in the memory of his father he was developing cricket,” said Dhumal in press statement issued here.

Dhumal also questioned the funds raised for organising Maharaja Padam Singh cricket tournaments. “According to Virbhadra Singh, organising tournaments in the memory of his parents was promotion of sports,” he added.

Reiterating allegations levelled by his son Arun Dhumal, Dhumal again questioned the income of Virbhadra Singh's orchards referring to his tenure as union steel minister.

“Virbhadra Singh's apple orchards registered an income of Rs. 4 crore when he was the steel minister while he raised unsecured loan from an individual amounting to Rs. 4 crore,” he said, questioning his investment.

He suggested Virbhadra Singh not to lose his clam and instead reply to queries raised by him on securing loans.

Referring to an old case of land transaction, Dhumal said Virbhadra Singh had blamed the official for transacting surplus land in his name. “When 161 bighas was registered in his name, Virbhadra Singh had cited unawareness and shifted the onus on officials,” he added.

Dhumal suggested that Virbhadra Singh should go through provisions of the land ceiling and money laundering acts which were framed in the 70s.

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