Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) vice-president Khushi Ram Balnatah on Friday charged the senior BJP leadership of shielding the involvement of unaccounted money in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Addressing mediapersons here after attending a state-level meeting of the party's youth wing at the PWD rest house, he said while three senior BJP leaders held high posts in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), none of them had said anything against the shameful revelations.
The HLP leader said Narendra Modi, Gujarat chief minister and president of the Gujarat cricket board, Arun Jaitley, leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha president and MP Anurag Thakur held senior posts in the BCCI. However, he said, all three had strangely remained silent over the IPL controversies, while their party had been stalling Parliament proceedings on charge of corruption against the UPA ministers.
Balnatah said Anurag Thakur even went a step further in defending the IPL by saying that the tournament attracted money for the country. He said such utterances were shameful in the wake of reports of involvement of anti-national elements such as Dawood Ibrahim and Chota Shakeel in the IPL episode.
Balnatah referred to the alleged phone tapping issue during former chief minister Prem Kumal Dhumal's regime as the “biggest-ever state-sponsored invasion of the privacy of the citizens”. He said more than 1,600 telephones of people from all sections of society were tapped. “If three people can be arrested for tapping Arun Jaitley's telephones, why there has not been a single arrest so far for tapping 1,600 telephones?” he questioned.
The HLP leaders said their party would take the phone tapping issue to its logical conclusion. Pointing out that they were not satisfied with the pace of investigations into the case by the state Congress government, he said they had even taken up the issue with the Centre.
Balnatah alleged that the Dhumal-led government had been most corrupt of all and the then chief minister, along with some ministers, was more active in finalising property deals rather than doing official work. Ridiculing Dhumal's challenges of proving the alleged illegal land deals during his tenure, the HLP leader asked: “Who gave permissions to relax Section 118 of the HP Land Reforms and Tenancy Act, which paved the way for the heavy influx of private educational institutions from outside the state?”
Referring to the Mandi Lok Sabha byelection, Balnatah said the HLP was telling people about the misdeeds of the Dhumal-led BJP government. He, however, said it should not be mistaken as the party's attempts to side with the Congress in these elections. He added that the HLP cadre was being strengthened for the 2014 general elections.