Shimla: With congress party and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not taking cognizance of union minister Virbhadra Singh being booked and let out on bail in a corruption case, bÃªte noire Vijay Singh Mankotia declared today of adopting Gandhian method of undertaking a fast unto death if no action is taken against him by March 5.
Talking to the media, Mankotia, a former congressman said, â€œa charge sheet being served on Virbhadra Singh and the court granting him bail in a corruption case, vindicates my stand of single handedly fighting corruption in high places.â€
Pointing out the duplicity in congress partyâ€™s stance on corruption, he said, â€œthere seems to be no accountability in the system. While Shashi Tharoor, Natwar Singh, Ashok Chavan, Suresh Kalmadi and A Raja were asked to quit when allegation of corruption surfaced against them, what has prevented the Prime Minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi from taking action against someone who is out on bail in a corruption case and yet is retained in the union cabinet.â€
Saying that there were two sets of laws prevailing in the country, he remarked that a Aam Admi (common man) with a similar crime charge would have been put behind bars.
â€œNot one to be dejected,â€ he said, â€œunless action is not taken against Virbhadra Singh by 5 March, when the corruption case against the union minister comes up for next hearing, I will be left with no choice but to adopt the Gandhian way of going on a fast unto death, for is not congress a party that swears by Mahatma Gandhiâ€™s philosophy.â€
â€œThe fast is also intended to arouse peoples consciousness about fighting corruption in high places,â€ he said.
When it comes to rooting out corruption, the prime minister is gripped by paralysis, he remarked, and has the distinction of having a tainted minister in his cabinet who has been charge sheeted in corruption case and is out on bail.
Mankotia said that even when Virbhadra was the chief minister during 2003-2007, two ministers Asha Kumari and GS Bali of his cabinet were made to resign over charges of irregularities.
Asking the prime minister to sack the union minister, he said that like Subramanian Swamy in A Rajaâ€™s case, he too would be approaching the Supreme Court for holding a detailed investigation into Virbhadraâ€™s properties, money transactions and investments.
Not sparing chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and the BJP government, Mankotia said, the general perception was that the state government was not serious in pursuing cases against the former chief minister. He pointed out matters related to tampering of land records, holding access land than the ceiling limit permitted and burning of a government gazetteer.
Separately, chief minister Dhumal on Friday alleged that union steel minister Virbhadra Singh was violating bail conditions. â€œThe corruption case against him is not political vendetta and instead of blaming others the congress leader needed to introspect, said Dhumal.
A special court granted conditional bail to Singh and his wife Pratibha on Thursday in a graft case made out after investigations were carried out on the basis of telephonic conversations said to be recorded in the early 1990’s. An audio CD of the conversations was made public by Mankotia in May 2007.