Shimla: There is another election out here and but ‘corruption’ is again an issue which the every party in the opposition swears by making it as the top issue in the run up to the poll. In Himachal this time other than BJP even Bhaujan Samaj Party (BSP) is threatening to use corruption as a cash card to attract to attract voters away from the Virbhadra Singh government, at an opportune time.
However, for the people its dÃ©jÃ vu. They have heard of it before. In fact some have become vary of it for once a political party attains power after a high pitched campaign on corruption, issue is then quietly buried.
The BJP in the 1998 election campaign had made a recruitment scam as the poll plank, alleging that jobs were doled out to favourites.
The allegation then received an official stamp after two bureaucratic inquiries done under the Prem Kumar Dhumal government unearthed that about 2000 government jobs were handed out on plain chits by the earlier Virbhadra government.
The issue died there for no one was booked over the lucartive jobs handed out on chits, which the two inquires had unearthed.
In opposition from 1998 to 2003, the Congress had submitted a detailed charge sheet against functioning of the Dhumal government. Irrigation minister Kaul Singh Thakur and Vijay Singh Mankotia – now the declared BSP chief ministerial candidate for Himahcal – along with other three members were signatories to the document.
The corruption allegations leveled in the congress charge sheet had demanded inquires against Mohinder Singh, Mansa Ram, Roop Das Kashyap and other ministers in the Dhumal government.
After the Virbhadra Singh government came to power in 2003, cases were registered against Mohinder Singh but did not reach any finality. Many charges made out against others did not go beyond the drafted document.
Striking when the election campaign of 2003 was hot, then Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and senior congressman Moti Lal Vohra leveled serious allegations against Dhumal, counting up more properties than what the Himachal chief minister could have made from known sources of income.
In response to a defamation case filed by Prem Kumar Dhumal, over the allegations leveled by Captain Amarinder and Vohra, the duo recently filed a quiet affidavit disowning the charges made.
Instead Amarinder and Vohra played safe by laying the blame on the media, stating that they had been wrongly quoted.
Chief minister Virbhadra dismissed the Amarinder and Vohra issue as “It’s a personal matter. The congress party has got nothing to do with it.”
As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post.
Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.