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Jaitley accuses Virbhadra of graft, writes to PM


New Delhi, Dec 30 :

Alleging 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, BJP leader Arun Jaitley Monday demanded a probe and action from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress.

Virbhadra Singh, CM, Himachal Pradesh
Virbhadra Singh, CM, Himachal Pradesh

At a press conference, Jaitley alleged Virbhadra Singh accepted 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.

“In the past few decades, no case of corruption has been so open and shut,” Jaitley said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said he has written a letter to Manmohan Singh demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation, and added it was a test for Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi to walk the talk on corruption.

“This will be a test for the Congress party, Sonia and Rahul. Congress has to answer how this man can continue. Are Sonia and Rahul helpless in dealing with him?” he asked.

Giving details, Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said the money was shown as loan, and Virbhadra Singh and his family became shareholders in another firm belonging to the promoter of the power company.

Arun Jaitley, Senior BJP Leader
Arun Jaitley, Senior BJP Leader

He also alleged the wife and children of Virbhadra Singh were made shareholders in another firm of the same promoter.

“The action in this case will prove if the stand on Adarsh report was genuine or contrived,” he said, targeting Rahul Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi Friday (Dec 27) said he did not agree with the Maharashtra government’s decision to reject the Adarsh Housing Society scam probe report and said, “Personally, I don’t agree with that decision. They (Maharashtra) should reconsider that.”

Jaitley said this was the third case of corruption in the past two years involving Virbhadra Singh, who was steel minister in the United Progressive Alliance government.

Jaitley added he has sent a copy of the letter, with all relevant documents, to the CBI.