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Confusion prevails over Cong govt's stance on corruption

Confusion seems to be prevailing in the government, as there is seemingly a big difference between the sayings and doings of chief minister Virbhadra Singh.

india Updated: May 19, 2013 22:22 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times

Confusion seems to be prevailing in the government, as there is seemingly a big difference between the sayings and doings of chief minister Virbhadra Singh.

Questions are being raised over "political" appointments being made in the government and its stance on corruption, even as officialdom is perplexed.

The Congress when in opposition made hue and cry about corruption. It accused the Prem Kumar Dhumal-led BJP government of being neck deep in corruption.

However, now the government is acting contrary to what it said. There has been virtually no headway in the telephone tapping case. Virbhadra Singh himself had been charging the then BJP government of snooping on him and his loyalists. The Virbhadra government swung into action as soon as he was sworn in as chief minister.

Top government and police officials at midnight swoop on headquarters of the police's crime investigation department (CID) and the anti-corruption and vigilance bureau confiscated computers that purportedly contained recorded telephonic conversations.

Virbhadra Singh publically announced that heads will roll in telephone tapping. Not only that during the first week of April at Pradesh Congress Committee general house meeting, Virbhadra Singh announced to complete the probe within two months.

Much to the chagrin of the Congress, there has been little progress in investigations. The government stance over wire taps has further added to confusion of investigating agency.

Similarly, pulses scam which figured prominently in the Congress chargesheet - for some or the other reason - has been put on the back burner.

The Himachal Lokhit Party has now begun to cast aspersions on government's intention. The government was reluctant to give permission to prosecute a former IAS and other officials charged for wrongdoings.

The Congress when in opposition constantly harped on irregularities in construction of high-end hotel - Pavilion - constructed by the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA). It alleged irregularities in allotment of land to HPCA.

The complaint filed by local resident of Dharamsala was not entertained, therefore he has now filed an application in the court.

"The Congress has been accusing us of wrongdoings. Now, one can see what they themselves are doing. Four legislators had opposed the setting up of cement plants. On the contrary, the Congress has now invited Reliance to set up a cement plant in the state," state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti said while summing up the functioning of the Congress government.

The "political" appointments made by the Congress government ran into controversy. It was after the intervention of the Congress high command that Virbhadra Singh had to halt the appointment of chairmen and vice-chairmen, while the board of directors is being appointed "discreetly" to avoid anymore controversies.

Recently, a leader who was expelled from the party for anti-party activities was appointed in the board of directors of a committee - leading to resentment among aspirants.

State Congress chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu is keen that "genuine" party workers be adjusted in boards and corporations, but contrary to it in many cases, workers owing personal loyalties to leaders had been given preferences.

Questions are being raised that at whose behest the appointments were being made?

Opportunist finding favours in corridors of power has had demoralising impact on the party workers who had looked for the party coming to power. "Party workers who toiled during the elections don't have any say in the government while opportunists are having a field day," alleged Congress workers from Kangra.

"Here only personal loyalties count. It does not make difference whether one has worked for the party or not," said a Congress worker.

“Appointments in the government are the prerogative of chief minister Virbhadra Singh. I am only concerned to the party affairs,” said state Congress chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu. He refused to comment further.

With many pressure groups active, officials considered close to chief minister Virbhadra Singh are shying away from taking decisions and advising government on important matters.

First Published: May 19, 2013 22:20 IST