The CBI's decision to register a preliminary enquiry against Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh for allegedly acquiring disproportionate assets while he was Union steel minister from 2009 to 2011, has become a potent weapon in the hands of the opposition BJP to attack the ruling Congress party-led government in the state.
The cases against Virbhadra and his family members are likely to figure in a "charge sheet" that the saffron party plans to submit to the governor on June 25 when the state government also marks completion of its two and a half years in office.
Incidentally, the Himachal Congress party celebrations in Una will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Emergency imposed by former prime minister Indira Gandhi. The BJP now plans to mark June 25 as a day of protest, in which case it may defer the move to submit the "charge sheet".
"In the charge sheet we had earlier filed we had demanded action against Virbhadra Singh and had questioned his income tax returns. This time we are asking the governor to dismiss the state government since the CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry against him and his family members in the disproportionate assets case and Virbhadra has lost the moral right to stay in power.
The charge sheet will contain both acts of omission and commission of the government," said former Rajya Sabha member and BJP Shimla legislator Suresh Bhardwaj, who heads the BJP's "charge sheet committee" that is scheduled to meet on Monday.
Apart from Bhardwaj, the panel includes BJP MLAs, including Jai Ram Thakur, Randhir Sharma, Mohinder Singh Thakur, Rajiv Bindal, state BJP general secretary Bopin Parma and former party MP Suresh Chandel.
Other issues, including unauthorised mining on river banks, illegal felling of trees and alleged irregularities by the food and civil supplies department in purchase of school uniforms might also figure prominently in the "charge sheet".
The party had vehemently raised the last issue during the state assembly's budget session, claiming the government had bought substandard uniforms for distribution to students of government-run schools free of cost.
The opposition party has also been targeting the government over its decision not to auction liquor stores in the state and has accused it of "sheltering" the so-called liquor mafia.