With central probe agencies tightening the noose around him in the disproportionate assets case, six-time Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh is facing a tough time these days.
In an interview to Hindustan Times’ Gaurav Bisht, he says there is no threat to his government in the wake of Enforcement Directorate and CBI probes against him.
The BJP has been pressing for your resignation. They have even approached the Governor seeking dismissal of your government. Is there any threat to the Congress government?
There is no threat to my government. The Opposition often keeps on raising such demands. They (BJP leaders) have sought my resignation on even trivial issues. Prem Kumar Dhumal, after taking over as chief minister, framed me in false cases. But I had full faith in the judiciary and was honourably acquitted by the courts.
BJP is claiming that the entire government is busy defending you and development has come to a standstill in the state. Is it true?
It’s absolutely wrong. No one is defending me. I am fighting these cases on my own. Not even a single day of my government has been wasted.
The Delhi high court has asked you to cooperate with the CBI in the DA case probe. What will be your next step?
I have deposed before the CBI in a similar case and my statements have been recorded. I’m ready to depose again.
The ED claims that you and your aide, Anand Chauhan, are involved in “a textbook case of money laundering”. What do you have to say?
This is a case pertaining to the income tax department. There is no money laundering involved. The ED and the tax department are acting at Arun Jaitley’s behest and want to fix me by hook or crook. The people of Himachal know me very well. I don’t want any certificate of honesty and integrity from the BJP.
Recently, the ED attached properties of your daughter Aparajita Singh and son Vikramaditya Singh. What’s your take?
My children will fight it out legally. Why don’t these agencies look into the properties of Arun Dhumal and Anurag Thakur?
You have been accusing Jaitley, Dhumal, his son and Hamirpur MP Anurag Thakur of trying to unsettle your government. Will you take up the matter with the PM?
People say PM Narendra Modi is not unfair and I also believe it. I have spoken to him once regarding all this and I feel he should have intervened in the matter by now. I’m sure that he could not be unaware of what all is happening. Regarding Jaitley and Dhumal, I will only say that if they have chosen the path of confrontation, I am ready to face it. I’m surprised why Jaitley got himself involved in it. However, I have no grudge against him.