Under fire from the Opposition, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Monday hinted at apprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the corruption cases filed against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED).
“To my knowledge, Modi is not aware of the cases being faced by me and my family members. It’s high time I apprise him of these cases, as the water has now risen above my head. I have met him numerous times but never discussed these cases with him,” Singh told a select reporters in an informal chat before he left for New Delhi to attend the wedding of Himachal Pradesh rural development minister Anil Sharma’s son.
“I have no time to cry over the cases, as much of my time is devoted to the people of the state. I don’t have even 30 minutes to think of these cases. But, even though they don’t matter to me, they do take a huge toll on my finances and cause unnecessary stress,” he added.
The chief minister squarely blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for disrupting the proceedings of the recently-concluded winter session of the Vidhan Sabha in Dharamshala.
“The session went smoothly except for the occasional attempts by the BJP to disrupt the proceedings. On the last day of the session, the BJP was trying to discuss the alleged corruption based on a news report pertaining to New Delhi businessman Vakamulla Chandrashekhar, who was allotted a hydel project by the Karnataka government, which was not related to the state agenda anyway,” Singh said.
He claimed that his archrival Prem Kumar Dhumal’s clout in the BJP was gradually fading away. “Dhumal’s statement that snap elections will be held in March is wishful thinking and reflects the ongoing struggle for leadership in the BJP camp. After (health minister) JP Nadda came into picture, Dhumal seems to be in a state of nervousness,” he added.
“The BJP leaders are trying to destabilise the popular and democratically elected government in the state but their ill-attempts are not going to succeed,” he said, while hitting out at the BJP leader for claiming victory in the first phase of panchayat elections.
“In the panchayat elections in Pangi and Spiti, the candidates with Congress ideology have bagged 20 seats and the independents three seats, while the BJP got only six. Yet, the party is misguiding the people,” Singh claimed, adding that the success of the Congress in the rural elections in Gujarat would replicate in Himachal Pradesh.
‘Detractors going all out to pin me down’
Mincing no words about his detractors, Singh said, “They don’t even want to see me alive, and have even resorted to occult practices to bring me down.”
“Though there are many, Dhumal and his son are my biggest detractors,” Singh said in reply to a question.
“A minor issue is being blown out of proportion. It appears as the entire might is being used against me at the behest of some leaders,” the chief minister said, adding, “I have full faith in the judiciary and know that I will come out clean as I have done nothing wrong. I will get justice in the end, that’s for sure.”
‘Didn’t discuss my cases with Dhumal’
The chief minister said he had not discussed his cases with leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal during their recent closed-door meeting at his official residence, Oak Over, in Shimla.
“Dhumal has met me only once, that too before the Vidhan Sabha session. We only talked about the smooth transaction of business during the Vidhan Sabha session. But I did not discuss my cases with him, since he is the perpetrator in my case,” Singh added.