Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday offered to resign in case the allegations of corruption and favouritism levelled against him by senior BJP leaders were proved right.
Singh, who suddenly went to Delhi on Tuesday, returned to the state on Wednesday after clarifying his position to the central Congress leaders, even as he underplayed the visit. "I had not been summoned by anyone. I had gone to Delhi on my own for the New Year get-together with my family," said Singh, who is said to have met All India Congress Committee general secretary Ambika Soni, party in-charge for Himachal affairs.
Singh is also said to have met Congress legal luminary Abhishek Manu Singhvi to discuss the legalities of the public interest litigation filed against him in the Delhi high court by NGO Common Cause, seeking a court-supervised CBI probe against Singh for alleged corruption and amassing of "disproportionate" assets.
The case is listed for February 12. The CBI has already questioned the Life Insurance Corporation agent for the policies taken by Virbhadra Singh and his MP wife Pratibha Singh.
Singh also wanted to call on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi but couldn't do so owing to their busy schedules.
In a recent letter written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley had levelled corruption charges against Virbahdra.
There are rumours in the political circles that the Congress high command could shortly consult senior party leaders in the state, including state party chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, over the controversy, that deepened after the fresh attacks on Virbhadra. Incidentally, the party so far has not come to Virbhadra's defence.
Singh, who earlier had plans to return to Shimla on Wednesday, later flew to Kullu to attend the winter carnival in Manali starting on Friday. "I will quit politics if allegations levelled by the BJP leaders are proved," Virbhadra told HT at the helipad at Bhunter.
He said the allegations being levelled by his predecessor Prem Kumar Dhumal and his sons were an attempt to malign him and his family. He termed the fresh round of allegations against him as politically motivated.
In a bid to turn heat on his rivals, Virbhadra dared Dhumal to prove charges against him or quit politics. "Those leveling allegations against me should offer to quit politics, like me, in case they are unable to prove the charges against me," he said, adding that Dhumal and his sons were feeling the heat of various probes ordered by his government into the wrongdoings of the previous Dhumal government.