In fresh trouble for the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government, a compact disc (CD) containing an intimate audio conversation purportedly between a sitting cabinet minister and a woman has surfaced.
The CD, whose veracity could not be independently verified by the HT, was sent by post to a few media offices. The envelope mentions the sender as Suraj Singh, resident of 23/4 Uttam Nagar, New Delhi.
Apart from the alleged sexually explicit conversation between the minister and the woman, the CD also contains 18 other audio conversations, purportedly between the same minister and others.
The envelope also contained an anonymous letter seeking to make “revelations” about the minister.
The letter says the minister, who reckoned that he would be the chief minister, gets politically active whenever there are any cases filed against the incumbent chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
The CD and the letter come at a time when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is investigating alleged tax irregularities by Virbhadra Singh and his family members.
The letter also talks about the minister’s connection with a contractor, who is also “involved in official work”. “Files in the minister’s office do not move without the consent of the contractor,” the letter reads.
The CD also contains the minister’s “conversations” with various political leaders ahead of the previous assembly election.
‘Exposes’ using compact discs is nothing new in Himachal politics.
In the past, former tourism minister Vijay Singh Mankotia brought to fore a CD containing a controversial telephonic conversation between chief minister Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh and a bureaucrat, prompting the anti- corruption and vigilance bureau to register a case.
It was on December, 24, 2012, a day before Virbhadra Singh was sworn-in as the chief minister that he and his wife were exonerated by a local court.
Earlier that year, when the court had framed charges against him, Virbhadra Singh, the then minister for micro and small medium enterprise had quit from the cabinet.
In 2008, a compact disc purportedly containing a telephonic conversation between the then chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and director general of police, DS Manhas, where the former asked the latter to tap the phones of Virbhadra Singh and his wife came to fore.
Before that, a video CD showed Shimla BJP MP, Virender Kashyap, allegedly accepting cash for granting permission to an educational institute to be established.