The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) on Saturday dared chief minister Virbhadra Singh to prove allegations against cricket body chief Anurag Thakur or a face defamation suit.
During a rally held in Una district on January 3, the chief minister alleged Thakur of being involvement in a Rs 2,800 crore HPCA scam.
Addressing a press conference at Dharamsala Cricket Stadium, HPCA spokesman Sanjay Sharma said the allegation against Thakur were baseless and far from the facts, and demanded an apology from the chief minister for levelling “false” allegations.
“We challenge Virbhadra to come out with facts to prove the allegations against Anurag or we will file a defamation and criminal suit against him,” said Sharma.
“The HPCA's total assets would be just above 100 crore; how could there be a scam of Rs 2,800 crore,” he questioned.
Sharma alleged that the chief minister had targeted the HPCA during his previous regime as well and had initiated several inquiries, besides, bringing the Sports Act to control the cricket body.
“Virbhadra wanted his son to become the president of the HPCA, hence, he was targeting the HPCA,” alleged Sharma.
Alleging misuse of government funds over a cricket tournament organised by the chief minister's family at Rohru, Sharma demanded an audit report of the tournament.
He also questioned the merger of the Rohru Cricket Association with the Himachal Pradesh Sports, Cultural and Environment Association, headed by chief minister's son Vikramaditya Singh.
He condemned the Congress government for laying the foundation stone of a housing project for slum dwellers at the site where a parking was proposed by the previous BJP government.
Hitting out at the Shimla municipal corporation for demolishing a building of the HPCA's Lalpani Crikcet Academy, Sharma said the MC commissioner gave passed the orders under the state government's pressure.
“We are committed to promote the game even if the MC takes over the building. The HPCA will open an academy at some other place on its own,” added Sharma.