Shimla : Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh Tuesday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Himachal Pradesh was registering false corruption cases against him and his wife Pratibha Singh.
“It is just an attempt by the BJP-led state government to malign me. It’s vindictive and is settling scores with the opposition Congress by registering false and frivolous cases. I am not afraid… I will face the cases,” Singh told reporters at his residence, Holly Lodge, located in Jakhu hills here.
The cases against Singh and his wife were registered Aug 3 by the state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The complaint against Singh was alleged misuse of his official position and criminal misconduct when he was chief minister in 1989.
“(Chief Minister Prem Kumar) Dhumal is working in an autocratic manner and using the state police to settle personal scores. He has contaminated the political atmosphere of the state. It has never happened in this peaceful state,” Singh, 75, said.
“It is nothing but a political move to defame me and my wife before the by-election of Rohru (vacated by him after becoming an MP),” he added.
Singh, a five-time former chief minister, visited the hill state for the first time after the registration of cases against him and his wife, a former MP from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh.
According to the police, they were booked on the basis of an audio CD released by Singh’s political adversary Vijai Singh Mankotia in 2007. In the CD, Singh was heard referring to some monetary transactions on the phone with former Indian Administrative Officer (IAS) officer Mahinder Lal, who is now dead. The CD also contained recordings of his wife and some industrialists.
The police had sent the CD and their voice samples for analysis at the Chandigarh-based Central Forensic Science Laboratory. The laboratory said the voices of Singh and his wife matched with that on the CD.
Dhumal has said that the investigating agencies “are on the job to investigate cases registered against the former chief minister.”
“We are following the legal procedure. The law will take its own course,” he has said.
Meanwhile, the police have identified two industrialists on the basis of the conversation in the CD.