Former chief minister (CM) Prem Kumar Dhumal's younger son, Arun Singh, continued his attack on the Congress and CM Virbhadra Singh by terming the allotment of the 15-megawatt (MW) Sai Kothi hydropower project to Vakamulla Chandershekhar's company as an example of 'crony capitalism'.
At a press conference here, Dhumal claimed that after Venture Energy and Technologies Limited was established in 2002, Vakamulla got the firm's shares valued at a much higher rate than their actual value and sold its the firm's equity for Rs 1.5 crore in 2003 and Rs 2 crore in 2005.
He also said that in a letter written by chief engineer AK Vaidya in 2005, it was said that in the memorandum of understanding signed between the government and VETL in 2002, Aban Lyod Chiles Offshore Limited and Shristi Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited were named as consortium members with 90% and 10% share, respectively. He said there were two other members, BSES and A Kossler of Austria. "The company produced balance sheets of other companies to get the projects; on that grounds, Vakamulla was issued a show-cause notice by the state government," Arun said.
He said Vakamulla had also mentioned a person by the name of Nitalla Krishna Kumar as a foreign investor. "He was described as a non-resident Indian (NRI). But in the registration papers of VETL, he is one of the directors and shown an Indian," he said.
Arun claimed that this was the base adopted by the union ministry of power to object the project.
He accused chief minister Virbhadra Singh of misleading the cabinet also. "It was only Virbhadra Singh whose interests have been safe-guarded in this case," he said.
He added that no agency in the state could probe into these charges until Virbhadra was the CM. "Before ordering a probe into these allegations, the CM should step down," he said.
He also said that if this project would have been executed by the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board, it could have been earned a Rs 40-crore profit.