A day after all-India general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Arun Jaitely alleged that there was an “open and shut case of corruption” against Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh over payments from a power company's promoter, former Himachal chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Tuesday asked Virbhadra to step down immediately.
Holding a press conference here, Dhumal said if Virbhadra failed to tender his resignation, the BJP would approach the President of Indian and Himachal governor with the demands to sack him and to order a CBI probe into the shady deals with one Vakamulla Chandershekher and his companies involving the CM and his family members.
Former education minister ID Dhiman, district BJP chief Vijay Agnihotri and other district-level party leaders were also present at the press conference.
Meanwhile, Dhumal asked All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice-president Rahul Gandhi to take action against Virbhadra if he was so keen to eradicate corruption from the society.
Rahul Gandhi was talking about 'zero tolerance' on the corruption, Dhumal said, thus time had come for him to come forward and inquire into the shady deals involving Virbhadra and his family members, and to sack him from the post of the chief minister.
He said the BJP would continue with its tirade against Virbhadra till he was not sacked.
He alleged Virbhadra of accepting money to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 2.4 crore through cheques in his and his parliamentarian wife Pratibha Singh's name from Venture Energy and Technology Pvt Ltd. He said the company was given two extensions in a hydel power project despite defaulting.
Dhumal alleged that the chief minister had cheated the department of income tax and the Election Commission of India by not divulging information of the loans taken by him and his wife from the firms of Vakamulla Chandershekher while contesting the assembly election in 2012.
He said it was a serious issue, as by hiding information from the authorities concerned, Virbhadra had cheated with the nation.
Replying to a question, he said the BJP government had cancelled a power project to the Venture Energy Technologies when it came to know that the company had presented wrong facts before the government.
Moreover, Dhumal strongly condemned the cane charge on the BJP and BJYM activists, who were staging a protest outside Rahul Gandhi's residence, demanding an explanation from him on charges of corruption levelled against Virbhadra.
Led by national president Anurag Thakur, the BJYM activists were demanding resignation of Virbhadra from his post.
The BJP leader said the way the Congress party was behaving, it was obvious that it was adopting double standards on the issue of corruption. The Congress leadership should clarify their stand on Virbhadra issue, the former chief minister demanded.