Shimla : Noisy scenes were witnessed in the Himachal Pradesh assembly Thursday with Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal saying there was “no conspiracy over the registration of cases against union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife”.
The trouble started when Independent legislator Rakesh Pathania wanted discussion on Singh’s recent assertions to the media against the government for registering what he called false and frivolous corruption cases against him and his wife Pratibha Singh. Pathania demanded Singh’s resignation from the union cabinet.
This agitated the Congress legislators and they started arguing with Pathania.
Dhumal intervened and tried to explain the stand of the government over the registration of the cases and tried to clarify on the allegations levelled by Singh.
“There is no conspiracy over the registration of cases against Singh and his wife. The CD (on the basis of which the cases were registered) was released by Singh’s political adversary Vijai Singh Mankotia in May 2007. The Chandigarh-based Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) has said in its report that the voices of Singh and his wife matched with that on the CD. That (CFSL) too is a (central) government agency… so the government has no role in the registration of cases.
“If he (Singh) is guilty, he should accept it. If he is not, then why he is worrying,” said Dhumal, further infuriating the Congress members who alleged that this was a conspiracy to defame the former chief minister.
On Singh’s allegations that his phones are being tapped by the state government, Dhumal replied: “The state government has no control or access to landline and mobile phones of people. These come under the purview of the telecom ministry.
“If he (Singh) is not satisfied, he should get the matter (phone tapping) investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation. I even urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to investigate the charges levelled by Singh against the state government.”
Singh Wednesday charged the state machinery of tapping his phones. He said he would write to Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram to inquire into the matter.
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.
Singh, a five-time former chief minister, reached here for this weeklong tour Tuesday.