A day after an expose on money transactions by Ispat Industry, Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president and former chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Saturday accused the top BJP leadership of hatching a conspiracy to malign his image.
A document seized during an income-tax department search at the offices of Ispat Industry in Delhi on November 30, 2010, suggested that the company reportedly made four payments totalling Rs. 2.27 crore between October 2009 and August 2010 to the then union minister of steel.
“The raids were conducted by the I-T department two years back and I did not know about the documents wherein transactions were made to various persons, identified in an abbreviated form,” Virbhadra Singh told Hindustan Times after addressing a public rally at Rehan in Fatehpur assembly segment of Kangra district. The state Congress chief said he writes his initials as ‘VS’ and not as ‘VBS’.
Launching an attack on leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley and chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal’s parliamentarian son Anurag Thakur for ‘conspiring’ against him, Singh did not rule out the role of his detractors in the party behind the whole episode. Replying to a query, Singh said he does not know Pramod Mittal, the chairman of Ispat group.
‘Dhumal an outsider’
Terming chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal an outsider, Virbhadra Singh said, “The leader who is heading the government is least bothered about the development of the hill state.”
The Dhumal family had shifted to Punjab many years ago and set up several industries in Jalandhar City. They are well to do and know a little about Himachal or are least concerned about problems being faced by people of the state,” said Singh.
He claimed that once Dhumal’s MP son Anurag Thakur had applied for a petrol pump in Punjab and when his application was turned down, he submitted in the court that he was not a Himachali.
The state Congress chief charged Dhumal with framing him in false cases. “I was booked twice in the previous regime of BJP,” Singh said, adding that he had come out clean in those cases and will also get a clean chit in a case filed against him by the present BJP government.
“I could have also slapped a case against Dhumal as I have a solid proof of irregularities committed by him during his previous term as chief minister, but I do not believe in politics of vendetta,” said Singh.
He also accused the BJP regime of selling state’s interests to outsiders. “Land on both sides on NH-22, from Parwanoo to Narkanda in Shimla, has been sold through benami deals. No one knows about the real owners of the land,” Singh claimed.