The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) marked completion of two and a half years of Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government in the state by submitting a 30-point "chargesheet" to governor Kalyan Singh on the government's acts of "omission and commission".
The saffron party has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into its allegations.
Former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and state party president Satpal Singh Satti, along with other party legislators, submitted the "chargesheet" to principal secretary to governor Sanjay Gupta, since Kalyan was away to Jaipur.
Prior to submitting the "chargesheet", the BJP staged a demonstration outside the Raj Bhawan. "This "chargesheet" is being sent to the President through the office of the governor and we are demanding a CBI inquiry into the charges. We demand immediate suspension of the government and re-election under President's rule," Dhumal said.
The BJP "chargesheet", which is backed by documentary proofs and annexure, highlights various "scams and irregularities", while specifically targeting chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his family members over their "questionable" income tax returns.
The "chargesheet" also targets transport minister GS Bali, forest minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri, urban development minister Sudhir Sharma and industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri.
It focuses on irregularities in various departments, including irrigation and public health, power, transport, industries, education, forest, food and civil supplies, health, agriculture and horticulture departments.
In the dossier, the BJP has alleged that the chief minister's office had become a den of corruption. It alleged that in spite of inquiries from the enforcement directorate (ED), chief minister Virbhadra Singh was still retaining his principal private secretary Subash Ahluwalia. The party has attached copies of notices served by the ED to Ahluwalia that had sought details of his bank accounts and investments.
Accusing the state government of "mafia raj", the "chargesheet" alleges that the Congress leaders were patronising forest, drug, mining liquor and land mafia. The dossier also makes reference to land purchases made by two ministers.
It highlights irregularities in the tendering of water supply scheme in Nadaun, while also highlighting discrepancies in the chief minister's relief fund. The party has alleged that the general industries corporation had violated the laid guidelines while it donated `1 crore from the CM's relief fund.
It alleges that the animal husbandry department entered into rate contract with about 30 firms of which 15 had either been blacklisted or debarred by the central government. Further it mentions "irregularities and nepotism" in the purchases made by the civic bodies department.
The party has also accused the government of scam in recruitment of bus conductors and in purchase of uniforms for schoolchildren by the food and civil supplies department. Besides, the horticulture department had purchased fruit plants for more than the total area under fruit production, it has alleged.
The "chargesheet" also refers to irregularities in toll tax auction. It alleges that due to non-auction of the barriers, the toll tax collection dipped to `86 crore. Outsourcing of laboratories to private firms in the government-run hospitals also figures in the "chargesheet" .
Congress terms "chargesheet" a political drama
Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) on Thursday termed the Bharatiya Janata Party's "chargesheet" against the Congress-led government a "political drama".
"The baseless 'chargesheet' is just a poor attempt to divert attention of people from the development being carried out by the state government and the party would not succeed in their nefarious designs," said Congress chief spokesperson Naresh Chauhan, adding that it had become a trend for BJP leaders to level such fake and misleading allegations against the Congress government as the opposition party had submitted a similar "chargesheet" when the government had completed one year in office in December 2013.
"The only objective behind submitting such 'chargesheet' seems diverting the attention of the people of the state from the Una rally being organised to mark two and a half years of successful rule of Congress government in Himachal," Chauhan said.
He termed the Una rally a grand success wherein thousands of people from across the state participated.
The spokesperson said the BJP leaders seemed to be frustrated with the popular and pro-development government under the leadership of chief minister Virbhadra Singh and now were indulging in political drama to attract media glare.
"Congress government has done tremendous work in the field of social, health and education sector and the government has launched various people-centric schemes," he said.
Chauhan said after coming to power, the Congress party had adopted the party's election manifesto as policy document and fulfilled all major poll promises. "It is character of BJP leaders to create hue and cry after raising baseless issues," Chauhan said, adding that instead of playing the role of a positive opposition, BJP leaders had always disrupted the proceedings of the state assembly sessions.
Dhumal demands dismissal of government
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday asked the governor to sack the Virbhadra Singh-led state government. While speaking to the media after submitting a "chargesheet" against the state government, Dhumal alleged that during the present Congress government over 200 industries had emigrated from Himachal due to extortion.
"We have submitted 30 allegations in the first part of the "chargesheet" . The law and order situation in the state has deteriorated and murders and shootings have become common. Land, forest, mining, transfer and liquor mafias are thriving in the state, and all this has been mentioned in the 'chargesheet'," he added.
"The Congress leaders are welcome to move court, as we will also get a chance to place the 'chargesheet' before the court as well," Dhumal replied when asked about chief minister Virbhadra Singh's threat of filing a defamation case against BJP leaders.
Taking a jibe at Congress for its midterm celebrations, Dhumal said, "The Congress party should clarify whether it is celebrating its two and a half years in office or the 40 years of Emergency period in the country."
Stating that the government was not confident of completing full term, the BJP leader said, "It's for sure that the state government will not complete full term as the ministers keep squabbling and the chief minister has to keep pacifying them."